Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nigerians Dropped from Squad for Lying About Age

Nigeria have dropped 15 players from their Under-17 World Cup squad, following tests to determine the ages of team members.

Nigeria are the hosts of the tournament, which kicks off at the end of October. The Golden Eaglets, as Nigeria's U-17 team is known, play in a group against Germany, Argentina and Honduras

The move to test the players came after football's world governing body FIFA announced plans to carry out tests during the tournament itself.

Coach John Obuh now has a squad of 23 players remaining for the event.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spokesman Ademola Olajire told the BBC the move to drop the 15 had been taken after the results of the tests were discovered.

"The decision was taken because the NFF was concerned with the preservation of Nigeria's good image," said Olajire.

NFF President Sani Lulu Abdullahi said the decision to drop the players would not prevent Nigeria from the defending the title they won in South Korea two years ago.

"We had 38 players in camp and some of them failed [age tests]," he was quoted as saying.

"[But] that does not mean that we do not have a team that will represent us at the World Cup - we still have a good team."

Nigeria have won the Under-17 World Cup three times, in 1985, 1993 and 2007.

(Story from the BBC)

MY POV: Wow, tough luck. But does this also shed bad light on Nigeria's past performances in '85, '93 and '07? Could some players from those squads have also lied about their ages?

I mean, 15 of 38 players were older than 17 ... how old were they, anyways? 28? 29?

Bad ... real bad ...


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