Age cheating claims hit Malawi U-20
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has challenged reports suggesting that the Malawi Under-20 team that drew at home 1-1 against Botswana in last week’s African Youth Championship preliminary round qualifier has over-aged players.
Malawi newspaper The Daily Times quoted several officials who suggested that some players in the team, including Malawi goal scorer Khumbo Ng’ambi, were above 20 years.
In reaction, FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda challenged that most of the players were Under-17 graduates who underwent “rigorous MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests) and FAM has all the database of the players who featured that time. “
“Some players were part of the Malawi Under-17 football team that participated in the Zone 6 competitions in Zambia and a player cannot participate in this competition without a birth certificate. It was verified by the Sports Council and the organisers of the Zone 6 competition that the players had birth certificates indicating their age group (that of being Under-20),” Nyirenda said in a statement.
“We have records indicating that all the players in the current Malawi Under-20 team were born after 1 January 1995 as required by Caf and most of them have graduated from the Under-17 team as expected in every country that is serious with development of players.”
Malawi Under-20s travels to Botswana on 25 April for the return leg. If the age-cheating allegations prove true, Malawi could be kicked out of the competition and fined.