Chad axed from tournament over age fraud weeks after Cameroon players fall foul

Chad have been booted out of a tournament over age fraud just weeks after 32 Cameroon players failed tests on the matter.

The regional Under-17 African Cup of Nations qualifiers started this week but Chad aren't taking part because one of their players failed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging age test, the BBC reported.

The MRI test on Chad's player, which scans the wrist to determine how advanced the bone structure is, was taken as part of an in-tournament test, not a pre-tournament one, the Central African Football Federations' Union explained in the aforementioned report. And it has resulted in the nation's omission from the tournament as a consequence.

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Chad are the latest African team to become embroiled in an age row after 32 of Cameroon's U17 stars were found out to be lying about their ages in MRI tests constructed by FA president Samuel Eto'o. The former Barcelona striker ordered the MRIs to rout out age fraud ahead of the upcoming AFCON competition for youngsters.

But even Eto'o must've been surprised when a staggering 21 players out of the 30-man squad failed the test. The lying bunch were removed from the team and replaced with a new collective of stars, only for 11 of them to be found guilty of the same offence, leaving the team's boss Jean Pierre Fiala with the difficult task of getting a squad together before the competition began.

But Chad and Cameroon aren't the only African teams shrouded in controversy. DR Congo were also ousted from the U17's AFCON when 25 out of 40 squad members failed the MRI test, plunging the spectacle into turmoil.

The qualifying event is on the brink of ruin as there's only three teams left to participate following Chad and Congo's dismissals. It's set to be the first U17 tournament since 2021 after that edition was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.


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