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Kenya disqualified from U-20 AFCON over age cheating
Kenya have been banned from the 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations for fielding over age players against Sudan, the competition’s organizing committee announced.
The east African side was disqualified for using five ineligible players in their match against Sudan in the first leg of the first round of the qualifying fixtures. The game, which was held on April 3 in Sudan at Al-Merreikh Stadium, ended all square with both teams scoring a goal each.
According to a circular sent to all National Associations, only players who were born on January 1, 1997 or after were eligible to participate in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Zambia in 2017.
The CAF revealed that Kenya’s Erick Otieno, Nicholas Kipkirui, Boniface Muchiri, Eugene Mukangula, and Theodore Kilele were all born in 1996.
“The Organizing Committee after its findings concluded that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) clearly violated article 40.11 of the competition regulations,” the CAF statement read.
“[The regulations] state: ‘a team which allows a non-qualified or a suspended player to take part in a direct knock-out match shall lose the match and shall be eliminated from the competition, even in the absence of protests’,” it added.
Kenya were scheduled to host Sudan for the return leg on April 23. However, the decision means that Kenya will be eliminated from the competition’s qualifiers, and Sudan will advance to the next stage.
“Consequently, the U-20 Kenyan National team is disqualified from the preliminaries of the AFCON U20 – Zambia 2017 and the U20 Sudan National team is qualified to the next round,” the statement read.
The U-20 African Cup of Nations, which Kenya were disqualified from, also serves as the U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament.