Four countries have been disqualified from the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship on the basis of fielding over-age players.
The countries are Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini and Zimbabwe.
The competition, which also doubles as the Qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations, will now start on Sunday, Cosafa has said.
The four teams all had at least one player fail their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that were conducted.
The rules state: “8.6 In the event that a participating team has one or more players who do not pass the MRI test for eligibility, then the applicable team will be disqualified and will have to return home as soon as is practically possible.”
For the punishment, the countries will hence miss the next two Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations, and by consequence the next FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship will restart as a four-team tournament on Sunday and will be played on a round-robin basis, with the top two teams advancing to a final on November 29.
Hosts South Africa open their campaign against Malawi while before that Angola and Zambia do battle.
The matches which have been played to date will be regarded as warm-up games and will have no bearing on the new tournament format.
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