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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Uganda appeals to CAF over suspended
players for U-17 AFCON qualifiers    

KAMPALA  Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda has appealed to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the suspension of three of their players from the on-going 2019 U-17 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

“We have submitted an appeal to CAF because we think we followed all the procedures and we are shocked that three of our players have been affected,” Edgar Watson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda FA, told Xinhua on Thursday.

On Aug. 11, CAF suspended 11 players including three from Uganda after they failed the magnetic resonance imaging tests conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania before the tournament kicked-off.

The three Ugandan players who were found overage and suspended are George Oluka, Joseph Kafumbe and Elvis Ngonde.

Watson said that all the players were tested before they traveled to Tanzania for the tournament.

“We have appealed because we think as per our tests all the players are qualified to participate in the tournament,” added Watson.

Besides Uganda the other countries that had players suspended after failing the tests are Kenya (3), Burundi (1), South Sudan (1), Tanzania (2) and Sudan (1).

After being depleted by three players who are not allowed to be replaced, Uganda started the campaign with 1-0 loss to Ethiopia.

The qualifiers have attracted Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti. Somalia’s team failed to travel for the tournament.

Only one team will advance from the qualifiers for the CECAFA region to join the other teams from other regions. But Tanzania have already qualified as hosts of the 2019 AFCON U-17 slated to run from May 12-26.

Other teams from different zones will also battle in the qualifiers.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya youth eye region’s ticket to Africa Under-17 Nations Cup

NAIROBI(Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Junior Harambee Stars are hopeful of clinching the single ticket to play in next year’s African Under-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania as the CECAFA region qualifiers kick off this weekend in Dar es Salaam.

Having finished fourth last year in Bujumbura, Burundi, coach Michael Amenga is optimistic of conquering the region as he has entered a stronger side capable to raffle the feathers and claim dominance in the region.

With Tanzania already assured of a slot as hosts, the remaining nine teams will square out for one slot to the continental championship.

Apart from Kenya and Tanzania, the tournament has teams from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea.

“We have prepared very well because we have had a longer camp period and the team has gelled together as a unit. Last year, we had just formed the Under-17 team and there were a lot of teething problems. But it’s different this time round and we also have a stronger team,” Amenga said on Saturday.

Kenya are in Pool B with South Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia and will start their campaign next Tuesday against South Sudan. A top two finish will guarantee them a spot in the semi-finals.

“In Africa now, you can’t pick out a big team from a small team. Everyone is equal and everyone wants to win. It will be very tough but we have to work hard to get out of the group and most importantly top it. If we get to the final, I believe we will have that motivation to get the ticket to the Cup of Nations,” added Amenga.

Kenya captain Arnold Onyango said he is ready to lead from the front and remains certain they will secure their prize to make it at the Africa Nations Cup in May next year in Tanzania.

“We know that Kenya has never qualified for the Under-17 Cup of Nations and that is our motivation. We want to be the ones to make history and represent our country well. We expect a tough tournament but we have prepared adequately,” added the defender.

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