Jordaan says age cheating needs to be looked into

Safa president Danny Jordaan says it is a shame that African countries are still suspected of using age cheating to win tournaments in various competitions on the continent.

Jordaan was speaking after the Fifa-CAF Pan African Schools Under-16 Football Championships that was held in Kinshasa last week, where hosts and eventual winners Democratic Republic of the Congo were accused of using players who looked way older than 16.

South Africa were represented in the girls’ section by KwaZulu-Natal’s Edendale Technical Girls School, who performed above expectations and finished as runner-up, losing to Morocco 4-3 via penalty kicks.

They qualified after winning the National Schools Sport Championship in the Free State.

In the controversy-riddled boys’ section, Congo defeated Senegal 3-1 to win the tournament and the football fraternity has complained to both CAF and Fifa to look into the matter of age cheating.

“The girls were in the final and lost to Morocco via the lottery of penalties and were very devastated,” said Jordaan.

“They were unfortunate after creating many scoring opportunities but they made us and the country very proud.”

Jordaan explained that it was in the boys’ section where eyebrows were raised regarding the eligibility of some of the players who looked overage.

“The boys’ competition is something that CAF and world football governing body Fifa needs to look into.

Many people who were at the tournament were rather not convinced that some of the players who took part were under the age of 16.

“Age cheating is a problem but there isn’t much that we can do because all the players present official documents from their government. There were some big boys there. CAF will have to look into this matter.

“This has been a consistent problem of African football and we have to address the issue,” Jordaan said.

“This is anti-development because if you are playing at under-16 and you are supposed to be playing in an age category much higher… it cannot be a true measure of teams on the field, especially in school competitions.”

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