The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has petitioned CAF alleging Zambia of using overage players in their 2-0 win over Uganda Cubs in the 2015 CAF U17 qualifiers first leg.
Patson Daka and Edwin Chipile scored in either half at the Nkoloma stadium to give the Zambians a first leg advantage but with the return leg expected in a fortnight in Kampala, impeccable sources have intimated to Kawowo Sports that FUFA has reported Zambia to CAF.
The players in question are yet to be revealed but Kawowo has reliably learnt that Daka who plies his trade with topflight side Nchanga Rangers is the culprit.
“It’s amazing how an U-17 player can play in an African top tier division,” a source privy to FUFA which preferred anonymity told Kawowo Sports.
“We have thus petitioned CAF and want Zambia to prove his age,” a source added.
It should be noted that after the game, Uganda Cubs coach Matia Lule hinted at this as quoted by The Times of Zambia citing that the MRI scan used in Zambia maybe different from what is used elsewhere.
“Why should I complain? This is talent development and all I can say is that we should be using eligible players or maybe and just maybe, the MRI scan used in Zambia is different from ours,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has dared their Uganda counterpart to conduct Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests on the Zambian players to verify the players age.
This was revealed by FAZ executive committee member in charge of youth football Lee Kawanu who also added the same should be done to Ugandan Bashir Asiku.
“As far as I am concerned all our players passed the MRI test and if Uganda thinks they are overage, they are free to take the players for a test and he should also conduct a test on their defender Asiku Bashir,” Kawanu told The Times of Zambia.
“Zambia played a highly tactical game and they deserved the victory over the Uganda Cubs and accusing our team of age cheating is just a scapegoat,” Kawanu said.
Like Kawanu, Puncherello Chama; a Zambian football analyst said it will be difficult for Uganda to win this contest because Daka is truly under 17 when contacted by Kawowo Sports.
“If Daka is the player alleged to be over 17, it’s not true,” Chama said before adding “Patson Daka was 15 last year, so he is 16 or 17 years. He was discovered at Airtel Rising Stars and was the top scorer at the tournament in Nigeria. He was bought by a Division 1 team (Kafue Celtic) and loaned out to Nchanga Rangers who have had a crisis of strikers this season,” Chama explained.
PAY BACK TIME?
In 2007, Uganda was banned from the same competition for using Ivan Ntege who was above the required age after Zambia petitioned CAF.
It remains to be seen how this will end but both sides await the return leg in Kampala on September 27 with the aggregate winner qualifying for the finals to be held in Niger next year.
None of the two sides have ever played at the championship finals.
Gambia, Benin already banned
If CAF discovers that Zambia used players above the required age, they will face suspension as stated in article 33 clause 11of the regulations of the competition.
Not only will Zambia face suspension from the U-17 championship category but also be suspended for two years from all underage categories as article 37, paragraph states: “For any administrative error in the matter of the players’ registration or date of birth without deliberate intention, the concerned association shall be suspended for two years from all the age category competitions of CAF.”
Already, Benin and Gambia have been banned for using over age players.