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01.08.2005 Football News

Most Starlets to come from the academies - Ministry

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Accra, Aug. 1, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports has endorsed a policy by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to ensure that at least 70 per cent of the players of the Black Starlets are from the sports academies and the schools.

The policy promulgated during the Ben Koufie Administration was to help develop the game at the grass root level so that the country could tap the full potential of the boys at the senior level.

Subsequently, a tripartite meeting between the Ministry, the GFA and the Starlets Management Committee agreed last week to implement the policy beginning with the current squad preparing for the Peru World under-17 championship in September.

A source at the ministry told the GNA Sports that coach David Duncan had been asked to reshuffle the team to reflect the new direction.

Coach Duncan refused to comment on the issue when contacted by GNA Sports.

FIFA has adopted a new policy - the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - to detect the use of over-aged players during the competition. Medical experts say the MRI is an advanced form of X-ray or computed tomographic scan which, although might not give the exact age of a player, the difference could be either plus one or minus one year. The FA said due diligence on the players' status have been done and there was no course for alarm; but said there was the need to implement the policy to encourage the sport at that level and to enhance Ghana's chances of winning more laurels at the senior level. The Ben Koufie Administration insisted that players of the premier league were excluded from the U-17 but the current FA said it would allow for exceptional cases.

The GFA said there could be very talented yet young players within the premiership who could be drafted into the team. The Starlets, runners-up at the African Youth Championship in Gambia, include the leading goal scorer in the GT Premier League Sadat Bukari of Kpando Heart of Lions and a few top-notch players.