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FIFA warns Nigeria, others on over-age players

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FIFA warns Nigeria, others on over-age players

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:23 am

WORLD football governing body, FIFA, has warned that any country that registers over-age players for the Nigeria 2009 U-17 World Cup, which begins in October, risked being banned from international football for many years.

Warning the participating countries to adhere strictly to the prescribed age limit for players at the championship during the draws in Abuja over the weekend, the co-ordinator of FIFA's media department, Emmanuel Maradas, revealed that the federation has a fool-proof means of determining the ages of players registered for the competition.

He noted that countries had been cheating in the previous championships by using over-aged players, adding: " We have to make sure that the U-17 championship is played by players of the same age category. This time, FIFA will be very strict on the ages of players who will play in the championship."

Maradas disclosed that the newly introduced MRI age screening machine would help to expose countries that register over-aged players in the competition. The Guardian recalls that Niger Republic, which qualified for the Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, was banned by FIFA for using over-aged players during their qualifying matches. The country was replaced with Malawi, which has been grouped with Spain, USA and the United Arab Emirates, to be hosted at the Kano Center.

Meanwhile, Holland's coach, Albert Stuivenberg, believes that the Dutch team, which has players from elite clubs in the Dutch Eredivisie, will come out unscathed from the Calabar Centre. A Feyenoord of Rotterdam former player, Stuivenberg said his team is well equipped for the rigours of the Nigeria 2009 FIFA championship, adding that only a major mishap would stop the Dutch from qualifying from the group.

"We do not want to underrate any country in our group but I want to say that we are ready to battle it out in Calabar and move forward to the next stage," Stuivenberg said, while picking Gambia as treat to the young Oranje in Calabar.

Stating that his mind is fixed on winning the Cup, he noted that African teams have advantage over other teams because they are used to the type of pitches and weather obtainable in Nigeria. He added: "African teams are used to the grass which we saw in Calabar, hence they may perform better. But I am focused on doing my country proud at the championship because my team has what it takes to win the Cup."

Stuivenberg revealed that the bulk of the team was picked from Ajax, Feyenoord and AZ Alkzmaar in the Dutch elite league. The Dutch team finished second at the European Under-17 Championship behind warns Nigeria, others on over-age players


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