05.05.2005 Football News

Tanzania's threat to overshadow under-17 championship

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Accra, May 5, GNA - The sixth African under-17 soccer fiesta scheduled to kick-start on Saturday, May 7 through to Sunday, May 22 in The Gambia, is likely to be overshadowed by a threat by Tanzania. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) barred the Tanzanian soccer team from competing in the two-week competition for fielding an over-aged player; an issue the East African country is contesting at the International Court for Arbitration in Zurich.

Their place has subsequently been taken over by Zimbabwe but the Tanzanians have sent a word to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) in The Gambia that they were on their way to participate in the competition.

A BBC report monitored by the GNA Sports quoted a Local Organising Committee (LOC) official as saying the country had not budgeted for them and they were not welcome.

But the Tanzanians will not budge and are preparing to storm the former British Colony and Protectorate while waiting for the ruling on the case on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Black Starlets will attempt to win the Ydnekatchew Tessema Cup for keeps after the 1995 and 1999 feats. The Starlets are in Group A with host Gambia, Mali and Burkina Faso while Nigeria, South Africa, Cote D'Ivoire and last-minute substitute Zimbabwe are paired in group B.

Gambia play Burkina Faso in the opening match at 1700 hours GMT at Bakau to be followed by the Mali-Ghana encounter also slated for the same venue. The competition ends on Sunday, May 22.

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