Featured - Sports - Top Stories - November 23, 2020

ZIFA appeals against age cheating allegations on U17

THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) is challenging the decision to disqualify the country Under 17 from the 2020 edition requesting COSAFA to avail the name of the player who is alleged to have cheated his age.

COSAFA last week announced that Zimbabwe, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini among other countries has been disqualified on the basis of fielding overage players after one of the players failed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test.

The ZIFA Board previously blacklisted 35 players in 2011 after they voluntarily opted out of MRI bone-tests to determine their actual ages in the run-up to the Under-17 African Youth Championships.

In a statement, ZIFA Communications and Competitions Manager, Xolisani Gwesela said they carried out similar tests on the boys and disqualified six (6) for failing to satisfy the bone fusion criteria, taking only those determined to be of the correct age.

“All the boys that traveled for the tournament were tested at a reputable MRI center in Harare prior to their departure and the center used a fairly powerful 1.5 T machine. The MRI results were also reviewed by a Specialist Radiologist, Dr. Z Sirdar.

“Our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward Chagonda is also a CAF certified medical officer. Our team doctor Dr. Rabson Zhou who traveled with the team has all the test results with him as proof,” he said.

ZIFA appeals against the decision with confidence that they did not deliberately breach regulations.

“We have appealed against the CAF and COSAFA decision and we are confident that we did not deliberately breach regulations governing the U17 tournament,” Gwesela said.

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