Mass changes are expected to hit the Black Starlets after nearly half of selected players failed an age test as demanded by football’s world governing body before the commencement of qualification matches for next year’s African Under-17 Championship.
At least 12 of the 25 players currently in camp under the guidance of Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin are reported to have failed the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests, now a requirement by FIFA for the age-defined competitions.
The MRI test, an accepted scientific method of estimating the ages of persons, has been introduced by the world’s football governing body to reduce the chances of age cheating by nations at such competitions.
Starlets’ Management Committee chairman, Fred Crentsil, told graphic.com.gh that he expected to be briefed by the GFA’s medical team which was handling the matter.
He confirmed that all 25 players had undergone the test within the space of nine days, but said he was unsure about which ones had failed the test.it
According to Mr Crentsil, the Starlets management team would decide the fate of the affected players after briefing by the Medical Committee.
Accra-based Happy FM reported Monday that Coach Fabin had indicated that the discovery -- and possible withdrawal of the unnamed players -- would not affect his team, insisting that he could not be blamed for the development since he selected the players based on their ages in passports.
Indeed, Ghana currently adheres to FIFA’s Transfer Matching System, which provides a universal database on every registered player across the world, to check the prospect of future reduction in ages of players.
Ghana is due to face The Gambia in the first of the African Under-17 Championship qualifier in Banjul in October before hosting the second leg in Accra in a fortnight’s time.
Ghana, two-time world champions at this level in 1991 and 1995, has never been associated with age cheating in football.