The CECAFA 1st Vice President who is also the President of South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) Mr. Francis Amin Michael has hinted that CECAFA will be sanctioning regional Football Associations who are found of manipulating players age especially in under age competition.
He spoke to SSFA media department after arriving from Cairo Egypt after attending the 2019 African player of the year winning Award ceremony in Egypt, with Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane crowned as the 2019 winner
Francis Amin said, “CECAFA took the opportunity while in Cairo and conducted their New Year’s first meeting to discuss the number of concerns and in the meetings one of the contentious issue raised was the problems of players Age cheating, CECAFA will be serious this time to Ban or put under sanctions to any federation not observing the rule of player’s age classifications, for example if a players found to be over age playing in an U-20 competition will be prohibited. Amin further said the meeting also discussed about the appointment of New Secretary General (Director General) of CECAFA.
According to Amin CECAFA will send an inspection team to the countries picked to host 2020 CECAFA Competitions.
It should be put in a record that after the election of the new CECAFA leadership in Kampala Uganda, Sudan was picked to host the AFCON U-20 Zonal qualifier and the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, Uganda will host the inaugural CECAFA U-20 Women’s Challenge Cup, while Djibouti will host the CECAFA U-16 Boys Challenge Cup. The CECAFA Kagame Club Championship that attracts the top teams in the region will take place in Tanzania, while Burundi hosts the CECAFA U-20 Challenge Cup and the CECAFA U-17 Women’s Challenge Cup.
In April 2019 six players were banned from taking part in the U17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania after failing MRI tests to determine their age and eligibility for the competition.
Age cheating in the region has been a big stumbling block for some of the players deemed to participate in CECAFA competition especially in men U-15, U-17, U-20 organized competition. During one of the AFCON zonal games, South Sudan had one of their goal keepers sideline due to age difference after an MRI test during an Africa Cup of Nations Zonal U-17 qualifiers in Tanzania with coach Bilal Felix fielding an on field player Lojore as a goal keeper, with Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia some of the countries that did not escape the hook.