No Age Cheating Worries For Nigeria

No Age Cheating Worries For Nigeria

Nigeria have no fears about the ages of their players going into the 2013 African Under-17 championships. CAF are to conduct MRI age-testing examination on all participating teams one day before the tournament kicks-off.

No Age Cheating Worries For Nigeria

The scans of the bone density of wrists have been found to be accurate to within one percent for boys under the age 18.

The practice was first introduced by the continental governing body at the 2011 tournament in Rwanda.

Eight Gambian players failed that test.

Last year, it directed all national associations to conduct the test ahead of qualifiers. Eighteen players from Nigeria and 10 from Ghana failed the test and were culled from their respective squads.

Now, NFF Executive Committee member Chris Green is confident the country has nothing to worry about.

"We did ours and all the boys in this squad passed, so we have no fear at all about the MRI test. In fact, we welcome it," Green said.

And if any should fail?

"That is very unlikely. But if it does, then we would ask for an independent assessment. And if it is confirmed, we would have to question the competence of the doctor who performed the test and his machine.

"Because we did not do it ourselves, we took it to the experts."

The Golden Eaglets departed from Lagos on Wednesday morning for the tournament.

The team, which returned from a four-week, final training programme at the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Qatar on Sunday, will fly to Casablanca and then move to Marrakech, venue of their Group B matches.

Nigeria, three-time world champions, last participated at the African U-17 finals in Togo in 2007, which they won, and then followed up with triumph at the Fifa U-17 World Cup finals in Korea Republic.

The competition opens on Saturday afternoon with hosts Morocco taking on Gabon at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, with Tunisia to take the pitch against debutants Botswana immediately after.

Nigeria and Ghana, with Africa's most illustrious record in international youth football, will clash in the most anticipated match of the group phase in Marrakech on Sunday evening, after Ivory Coast and Congo-Brazzaville would have done battle at the same venue.

The Eaglets also play Ivory Coast on April 17 and Congo-Brazzaville on April 20 in the group phase.

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