Nigeria cracks down on over-age players
The Nigeria Football Federation has announced it will be checking out its players bones to catch cheats. Nope, it’s not dubious dressing room shower activities but MRI scans to find over-age players trying to gatecrash the Under-17 World Cup.
Nigeria’s youth squads have long faced accusations of fielding ineligible players in tournaments. Their success in age group competitions in comparison to the full squad, occasionally imaginative maths as players progress through age groups, and even confusion over the actual age of big-name players such as Obafemi Martins has been cited as evidence of possible cheating.
The federation’s president, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, said: “We will use the MRI bone confirmation tests introduced by Fifa. This is important as we want to be sure that we do it correctly and that players who represent Nigeria at underage competitions are actually the ages they claim to be.”
Given the new clampdown, we wish Nigeria under-8s every success in the tournament!