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25.02.2007 Football News



Fifa has declared Burkina Faso losers of the first round Olympic qualifier against Ghana for fielding two ineligible players.

Ghana football authorities protested to Fifa after Mady Saidou Panandetiguiri and Fousseni Traore played in the first leg match, which Burkina Faso won 2-0 in Ouagadougou on 7 February. Fifa regulations state that players featuring in this year's qualifiers must be born on or after 1 January 1985, but the Ghanaians discovered that the duo were born in 1984.

Only players under the age of 23 can play in the qualifiers, although teams are allowed to field three over-aged players in the tournament at the Games.

"Two players from Burkina Faso were not eligible to play the game Burkina Faso-Ghana, as part of the preliminary competition for the Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing in 2008," Fifa told BBC Sport.

"In the event of ineligible playing, the sanction to be applied shall be to rule that the match has been forfeited, with victory and a score of 0-3 awarded to the opposing team.

"Consequently, the game Burkina Faso-Ghana on 7 February 2007 is declared as a Burkina Faso forfeit with a score of 0-3."

The Black Meteors are now better placed to advance to the next round of the competition as they host the second leg in Sunyani on 25 March.

The Bukinabes must now overturn the 3-0 deficit to be able to qualify for the third round of the qualifiers for the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing next year.