Zambia pass MRI tests as four teams fail and get disqualified
The Zambia U-17 national team has passed the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans together with hosts South Africa, Malawi and Angola required to participate in the COSAFA U-17 Championship.
However, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe have failed the tests and have since been thrown out of the competition.
Delegation leader and FAZ Technical Director Lyson Zulu confirmed the development in an interview.
Zulu is confident the Boys can and will do well in the Competition given that 70 percent of the team are from last year and have some experience in the competition.
“The confirmation is in regards with the tournament regulations which started that every team that was participating in these Zonal qualifiers are supposed to subject all the players to MRI which we did. The results are out and am told that four teams have actually been disqualified for using overage players but thankfully we still have Zambia in the Competition. This goes to all the work that has been done by different coaches that we have used to select these players from the different leagues that we run in the country,” he said.
” The first game against Angola in the round-robin is going to determine how far the boys can go. I believe in this team, We have invested as an Association in this team.70% of the team are the boys that played last year so we have retained them and hopefully, they can build on that experience to give us the results that we want,” he added.
Before the tournament regulations were made very clear in this instance:
- An age eligibility test will be obligatory and will be performed on all participating players upon arrival in the Host City. The test will be performed by the CAF Medical Services in accordance with the protocol of the F-Marc in a health facility duly accredited in the hosting country using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) apparatus. The cost of the MRI test will be covered by CAF.
- If 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.
With only four teams remaining the Competition with now moving to the round-robin phase with Zambia set to play Angola on Sunday before facing Malawi on Tuesday and end their pool games against hosts, South Africa, on Thursday.
Zambia earlier today beat the Comoros Islands 2-0 thanks to goals from Charles Majapa Mumba and Joseph ‘Sabobo’ Banda in what was supposed to be their first game of group B before the disqualification of the four teams.
The two finalists will qualify for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations that is scheduled to be played in Morocco.
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