COSAFA Under 17: Football Assiociation of Zambia suspends the entire Technical team of the Under 17

COSAFA Under 17: Football Assiociation of Zambia suspends the entire Technical team of the Under 17

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) suspends the  full technical bench of the U17 team and Executive Committee Member Kabaso Kapambwe


Zambia’s disqualification follows fresh Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests carried out on forward Nicholas Mulilo and Benjamin Phiri in Mauritius, which found the players were over the age of 17 and therefore according to Clause 10.5 (I) of the tournament regulations are not eligible to compete in the competition.

Zambia had willingly submitted both players for re-testing in Mauritius after complaints from two countries.

The pair had been tested, along with the rest of the squad, in Zambia prior to their arrival at the tournament, as is mandatory for all players competing at the CAF Under-17 Qualifiers and U17 Youth Championships Final Tournament, but information sourced later from Confederation of African Football (CAF) indicated that these tests were incorrectly done.

Also Read : Zambia disqualified for using overage players

The re-tests carried out in Mauritius revealed the players were not eligible to compete.
MRI scans have become standard in assessing the age of players in this age-group with a 99 percent accuracy.

Every bone in the arm and leg has an end plate from which bones grow. When the growth is completed (usually around the age of 17), then this end plate disappears on the MRI scans.

If it can be seen on the MRI scans, then it is proof that the player is 17 or younger.

The players in question are alleged to be 20 years old


LUSAKA, 29 JULY, 2016 – On Tuesday 26th July the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) received correspondence from the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) that two Zambian players Nicholas Mulilo and Benjamin Phiri were being summoned for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) following complaints from two teams about possible age violations.

The tests were carried out by Mauritian medical authorities under the supervision of a Confederation of African Football (CAF) certified doctor. The results showed evidence that the two players in question have been found to be over the age of 17 years and therefore non eligible to participate in this category. As a result in accordance with Cosafa regulations is disqualified from the tournament.

Prior to departure, the U-17 team underwent medical tests at a recognised medical facility in Lusaka and Of the 26 players, 20 were passed as meeting the requirements for U17 competition. It is these 20 players who travelled to Mauritius.

At present the Football Association of Zambia is seeking clarification about the processes and methodology used in the testing following the outcome of the second test in Mauritius.

This morning the Emergency Committee of the Football Association of Zambia met and made the following decisions:

1. The full technical bench of the U17 team is suspended to allow for a comprehensive investigation into the matter. These are Head Coach Osward Mutapa, Assistant Coaches Perry Mutapa and Charles Bwale, Goalkeeper Coach Kalililo Kakonje, Team Doctor Mwila Lupasha, Team Physiotherapist Ephraim Mphanza and the Team Manager Collins Phiri.

2. The suspension of Executive Committee Member Kabaso Kapambwe who was the delegation leader, will be referred to the Executive Committee for determination in line with the FAZ Constitution.

Ponga Liwewe