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How did Liberia Avoid another National Embarrassment?

Following the disqualification of the Liberia U17 national team from the WAFU Zone A U17 Nations Cup in Mauritania in October, it was a highly embarrassing event.

Liberia’s disqualification came after it was determined that two of the team’s 20 players were ineligible for the competition. According to Article 27.4 of the U17 Nations Cup Regulations, “if after performing the age eligibility test (MRI) for a participating team, one (1) player is found non-eligible, the participating team will be disqualified.”

The Liberia Football Association (LFA) had relied on players’ parents to confirm their children’s ages after an MRI test in Monrovia did not meet CAF’s eligibility requirements.

In African football, age cheating is a widespread practice, to the point where players in amateur leagues are known to have two ages: the football age and the actual age.

A similar public humiliation would have happened just recently, but thankfully it did not.

Liberia was due to host the WAFU Zone A U15 African Football Championship, with champions Addo Mills and Bethseda High Schools set to represent Liberia in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively. However, things did not go as planned.

The football association moved quickly to reassess the ages of players from both teams in order to prevent another national embarrassment, which resulted in the discovery of inaccurate bio-data information provided by both schools.

The FA immediately communicated with the WAFU Secretariat about the withdrawal of Liberia’s representatives and barred both schools from all LFA football activities for a period of one year.

Six nations, including the host nation Cape Verde, Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal, participated in the U15 school football tournament in Cape Verde.


Men’s and women’s winners were Guinea and The Gambia, respectively.




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