Voice of Sport

If deliberate age cheating is established Kenya could face ban from all CAF age-group events

Sudan say they have protested against Kenya’s fielding of overage players in the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifier first leg tie which ended 1-1 in Khartoum


KENYA fielded over age players against Sudan in Omdurman on Sunday and will be bracing for sanctions by CAF [African Football Confederation].

The 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations is strictly for players born on January 1 1997 or later and was emphasised during the draw of the qualifiers that took place on February 5, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda where Kenya was well represented.

The flimsy excuse by Football Kenya Federation [FKF] is that they thought the age restriction was for during the finals that will take place in Zambia in 2017. The bizarre thinking that a country would use overage players in the qualifiers as long as they were not used in the finals is quite unexplainable. The Kenyans have acknowledged that up to eight of the players who went to Sudan were born in 1996.

Procedure

The Kenyans’ only hope of reprieve will rely on whether Sudan, who protested before the match at Al Merreikh Stadium which ended 1-1, went through the right procedure in their objection and appeal to CAF authorities in Cairo, Egypt.

The regulations say a protest against the qualification of the players who take part in the matches of the preliminary tournament must be made according to the following manner:

(34.1.)

– It must be preceded by a nominal and motivated protest formulated on the match commissioner report, before the match, by the captain of the protesting team and communicated to the captain of the opposing team who will countersign it.

34.2.

– It must be confirmed by a registered letter or by a fax or e-mail sent to CAF Secretariat by no later than 48 hours after the match. The postal stamp of Cairo or of CAF will bear witness.

34.3.

– It must be accompanied by the protest fees fixed at $2,000(two thousand US Dollars) which may be returned to the protesting team if the protest is upheld.

34.4.

– If a national association requests, for players whose qualification is contested to be confronted, this association will have to bear the whole expenses incurred for the transport, the sojourn of the players and the officials accompanying them. If its claim is accepted the expenses will be borne by the association guilty of fraud.

34.5.

– Other protests are to be communicated to the Secretariat of CAF within the forty-eight (48) hours after the match by fax or email. A detailed confirmation by registered letter, fax, or email must reach CAF Secretariat five clear days from the date of the match at the latest, the postal stamp of Cairo and/or CAF will bear witness.

 Blunder

The Sudan Football Association [SFA] Treasurer Osama Atta Elmnan was quoted elsewhere saying that the Sudanese had protested before the match and that they would appeal to CAF.

The new FKF authorities had yet again sent alongside the Under-20 team a large consignment of officials and another blunder increased the number of management ineptness seen in the organisation which recently elected a new executive committee.

Details

To a recent 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Guinea Bissau, 18 officials accompanied 20 players in match that Kenya lost 0-1 followed by a similar loss in Nairobi in the return a few days later.

This time to Sudan FKF sent eight officials. The media’s reaching out to coach John Kamau to issue a detailed description of the players with the clubs they play for and their date of birth was unanswered. It was a lost opportunity for scrutiny as to whether there were any overage players.

Regulation

Another CAF regulation on the identification of players says:

(Article 41):

–          Each Team Participating at the Youth Championship must imperatively transmit the list of 23 players susceptibles to take part at the match at the match to the Commissioner and the referee at the pre-match technical meeting or else they will be sanctioned. The Commissioner and the referees must disallow any player on the list that does not conform to the standards of qualification of the competition from participation at the match. CAF reserves the right to sanction any failures.

Cheating

This is the list — that Kamau ought to have prepared well before going to Sudan – which the Kenyan media were seeking in Nairobi before the team departed.

If attempts of deliberate age cheating is established by CAF Kenya could face serious sanctions including a ban from all CAF age group competitions, a fate the country has faced before.

Kenya U-20 squad (issued without clubs and date of birth):

Goalkeepers:

Timothy Odhiambo – (SoNy Sugar)

Edwin Mukolwe – (AFC Leopards)

Defenders:

Collins Okumu – (Thika United)

Joseph Okumu – (Chemelil Sugar)

Kevin Owino – (Laiser Hill School)

David Owino – (Gor Mahia)

Erick Ouma – (Gor Mahia)

Dennis Gicheru – (Posta Rangers)

Midfielders:

Vincent Wasambo – (Kariobangi Sharks)

Michael Mutinda – (Thika United)

John Macharia – (Laiser Hill School)

Eugene Moses Mukangula – (Thika United)

Musa Masika – (Laiser Hill School)

Amos Nondi – (Gor Mahia)

Boniface Muchiri – (SoNy Sugar)

Kennedy Ochino – (Nakuru All Stars)

Forwards:

Jeffery Owiti – (Chemelil Sugar)

Michael (Ovella?) Ochieng’ – (Kariobangi Sharks)

Kibet Kilele – (Ligi Ndogo)

Nicholas Kipkirui – (Zoo Kericho)

Management:

  1. Noel Mulandi
  2. Mikael Igendia
  3. Judith Anyango
  4. Chris Amimo
  5. Team Manager: Benjamin Omukuba
  6. Goalkeeper coach: Sunil Shah
  7. Assistant coach: Hesbon Nyabinge 
  8. Head coach: John Kamau