Samuel Eto’o ‘disqualifies’ 21 Cameroon Under-17 players in age fraud scandal

Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) president Samuel Eto’o has “disqualified” 21 Under-17 players after a new age fraud scandal hit the country.

The former Barcelona and Chelsea forward has pledged to tackle the issue of age fraud within the country’s football pyramid head on. In the summer, FECAFOOT summoned 44 players from eight different clubs for a heading into purported age and identity cheating.

However, Eto’o and Cameroonian football as a whole, will have to contend with another huge setback after the majority of the players who contested for the country’s U17 side have been disqualified after failing MRI tests.

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All of the suspended players were selected for this year’s UNIFACC tournament, a competition which sees the U17 sides of the Central African Football Federation Unions, compete amongst each other. However, 21 out of the 30 players to compete for Cameroon have all failed MRI tests, which measure the age of an individual by sans of their wrists and measurements of their bone growth.

“The Cameroonian Football Federation informs public opinion that as part of the preparations for the UNIFFAC Limbe 2023 tournament, qualifying for the next African U17 Nations Championship, 21 players out of the 30 currently on training have failed at the outcome of the MRI tests,” a statement from the Cameroonian football association read.

“They were immediately removed from the group. Steps were immediately taken for their replacement.

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“This action is the result of strict instructions given by the President of FECAFOOT acting under the mandate of the COMEX, in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have, in the past, tarnished the image of the apex body of the Cameroon football.

“FECAFOOT urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.” As part of his promises to reform the game in Cameroon, Eto’o pledged to tackle the issue of age fraud when he became the federation president of the country he made 118 appearances for.

The former Barcelona and Chelsea striker has been at the helm of Cameroonian football since his appointment in December 2021.

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