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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
CAF subjects Kenya under-17 players
to age-testing ahead of Cup qualifiers

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) asked all eight countries taking part in the Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations CECAFA regional qualifying tournament in August to test their players’ ages in a bid to curb cheating.

Kenya had its players taken through a series of medical tests to ascertain their ages as demanded by the continental football governing body.

“CAF requires us to take the players through the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests. This is aimed at ensuring that the players that take part in the tournament are not only physically fit but also within the required age bracket,” said Football of Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Robert Muthomi on Tuesday in Nairobi.

The qualifiers for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations will for the first time be played on a regional basis, to determine the seven teams to join hosts Tanzania for next year’s final tournament.

Since 1995, an average of 30 teams engaged in the qualifiers, representing about 54 percent of the CAF membership.

“However, this new format has seen a great response. A total of 49 teams have confirmed their participation, which is a record compared to the previous years. We will get to see teams that never participated and rarely made an impact at the youth level. Those teams will play at least three continental matches,” said CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy.

Kenya has been pooled in Group B alongside Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti. Group A consists of hosts Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sudan.

Tanzania has automatic qualification by virtue of being the hosts, which means that the winner of the CECAFA tournament will thus get the spot to play at the Africa Nations Cup, while the runner-up could also make it to the tournament if Tanzania emerges as champion. 

           

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