Sports News of Friday, 15 January 2016
Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon have been named as countries involved in age cheating in the year 2015, according to a report by football observatory body CIES.
The three Nations were alleged to be involved in massive age cheating in the past year after a thorough investigation by the Swiss-based Football Observatory.
Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon in 2015 assumed to have fielded the youngsters players in FIFA competition of which the Observatory body (CIES) argue against after their checks on the three football nations.
A statement released by the body reads: “However, this result must be analysed carefully insofar as footballers born in Africa tend to be older than they claim to be,” the report stated.
“Lying about one’s age is a common practice that implies a competitive advantage in youth categories,” said the report.
“However, in the long term, this strategy is counterproductive as it does not provide optimum conditions for the full development of talent.
“This is one of the reasons for which the real potential of African squads remains untapped.”
“In the first case, the bias towards youth has not been a success as the Dutch failed to qualify for Euro 2016. For the English, on the other hand, the results have been more positive.
“The youthfulness of the players available to Roy Hodgson is the sign of a renaissance which suggests a promising future,” the report said.
Ghana and Nigeria remain the only African countries who have excelled in junior competitions with both winning the FIFA U17 World Cup.
Ghana however remains the only African country to have won the FIFA U20 World Cup competition after making history in 2009 when they defeated Brazil in the finals.
Nigeria in 2015 won their fifth U17 World Cup making them the highest and most successful in the World.
However most African countries have failed to make an impact when it comes to the FIFA World Cup with Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon being the only African countries to have made it past the first round at the World Cup.
This observation has led the body (CIES) to question the ages of most African countries with Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon being ranked as some countries involved in massive age cheating in the game.
It would be recalled that Ghana’s U17 team (Black Starlets) were banned from participating in the 2015 African U17 Championships after allegedly fielding an unqualified player against Cameroon.
England had threatened to withdraw from all age competitions due to the dishonesty on the part of some countries concerning the ages of their players during youth competitions.