Former Ghana FA chief Ben Koufie is going to recommend to FIFA that Nigeria and Ivory Coast are banned from playing in the Under-17 World Cup because they age-cheated their way to qualify for the competition.
Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scans have been used by both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football to check on the true ages of players as the clampdown on age-cheats intensifies.
Nine players were banned from the African Under-17 event after failing tests recently.
Now Nigeria and Ivory Coast have qualified for the World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates later this year and have gone on to reach Saturday’s Final in Morocco.
Koufie wants FIFA to enforce tougher punishments for age-cheats and their countries taking part in age-group competitions.
“I am going to make some recommendations to FIFA that it should just not be a matter of disqualifying players from tournaments when they have failed their MRI in a specific competition,” Koufie said
“If the players played in the qualifying matches for that competition, that team must be disqualified because it used disqualified players in the qualifying process.
“Once you are caught and it is proven that the player played in the qualifying matches then you have to be disqualified.
“I am worried about it because it is not fair at all to the youngsters. It is called U-17 because it is a development stage.
“If you now bring 20 to 25-year-olds to play in that competition then it is an injustice,” he added.
The former Black Stares boss has been a strong critic of age-cheating over the years and believes the problem lies not only with dishonest player’s but also with coaches and administrators.
“Coaching at this level must be taken seriously because that is the formative stage. The U-17 is not a must-win area,” he said.
“It should be a chance for the boys to learn at a competitive level, that is the assessment. We are incorrectly using it now as a real competition where they must win.
“Sometimes in football you lose in order to learn and in the process learn to win. They may lose but they must learn from their losses,” he says.
All four teams – champions Ivory Coast, runners-up Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco – have qualified for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 8 November.
PH Club Amateur Open Golf Tourney Tees- Off, Oct 9
Preparations are in top gear as this year’s edition of the Port Harcourt Club Amateur Open Golf Championship tees off on October 9, 2023.
The Chairman of the Tournament Organizing Committee, (COC),Dr. Patrick Ohia, who made this known while addressing sports journalists in Port Harcourt, said the championship will take place at the Golf Section of Port Harcourt Club 1928.
Dr. Ohia hinted that over 220 amateur golfers have registered for the tourney, adding that the theme of this year’s championship is “Golfing for Healthy Living”.
According to him, the tournament will feature mostly golfers within the South-South and South-East region of Nigeria, and hinted that registration had since been closed.
He maintained that every necessary logistics have been put in place for a hitch-free championship, adding that this year’s edition of the Port Harcourt Club Amateur Open Golf Championship will be unprecedented in the annals of the golf section.
The Organising Committee Chairman further disclosed that professional golfers will also participate in the championship as mouth-watering cash prizes have been earmarked for them as they play sorely for monetary gains.
He said that the Caddies will play on the first day, while the seniors and the elders will take their turn on the second day of the open, which will precede the Lady Golfers, Professionals and Amateurs tee-off respectively.
Meanwhile, he said the tournament is being bankrolled by Polaris Bank and a list of other sponsors.
NYG : Coach Expresses Disappointment Over Over-Age Players
The Head Coach of Team Rivers Hockey team, Comfort Nya has expressed disappointment over the fielding of over aged players at the ongoing National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba Delta State.
She praised her team for their performance, adding that she was disappointed with her opponents, especially, Kaduna state for fielding overaged players.
Nya said this yesterday in an interview with sports journalists shortly after they lost 5-0 against Kaduna state at the ongoing NYG in Asaba Delta state.
According to her, she has been with the team for only three months. She expressed optimism that in another 12 months, the team will turn things around.
“I believe in the team with what I have seen so far, they will do well in next edition.
“ The team started brightly at the game but were overpowered by their opponents.
“I think we still have one game to play against Niger. I am assuring Rivers state that they are not going to do bad in the game.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Athlete Advises Parents To Encourage Wards In Sports
The first gold medalist of Team Rivers State at the ongoing National Youths Games (NYG) in Asaba, Beauty Jumbo, has advised parents to always encourage and not to give up on any child that chooses or gets involved in sports.
According to her, she fell in love with gymnastics through the advice of her sister and today she is able to do well in the game.
Jumbo made the assertion on Wednesday while speaking with sports journalists shortly after she won a gold medal in gymnastics at the ongoing NYG in Asaba, Delta State.
She expressed joy over winning the gold medal, adding that she wants to be the next generation gymnast.
“ I want to advise parents not to lose hope in any child that is participating in sporting activities because sports pay.
“ My aim is to be the next generation gymnast. I love the game because my sister developed my interest in the game.
“ I want to make my parents and my country, Nigeria proud”, Jumbo said.
The former bronze medalist in the sixth edition of NYG and student of Dominion Noble Global Academy of Port Harcourt said that her coming to the seventh edition was to win gold which she has done adding that she wants to win more in the game.
“I am very excited because my plan has come to past.
“ I want to thank my coach, Tamunosaki West, for what he has been doing during our training,” she said.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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