Caf bans Gambia for two years over age cheating

Gambia have been banned from all African football competitions for two years after fielding five overage players in a qualifier for Africa's U-20 tournament

The Executive Committee of Caf has suspended Gambia for two years from all Caf competitions for age cheating.

The body said its decision is in line with ‘Article 37 Paragraph 1’ of the regulations of the African U-20 Championship, which states “for any deliberate intention to foul or cheat in any matter involving the falsification of documents, the defaulting association shall be suspended for two years from all Caf competitions”.

On 20 April 2014, the Organising Committee for the African U-20 Championship decided on the disqualification of The Gambia for fielding five players ineligible for the age criteria in the qualifier, Liberia-Gambia on 6 April 2014.

All the five players were born in 1994 whilst the competition according to a Caf circular dated 2 September 2013 is open to players born on 1 January 1995 or after.

Thereafter, CAF launched an investigation into the case of the player Ali Sowe, born on 14 June 1994 with passport Number 332465 who was one of five players which led to the suspension of The Gambia. Indeed, he had already registered with CAF in 2012 with Gamtel FC in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup with the same passport number but date of birth as 14 October 1988.

The CAF President reiterated zero tolerance in such cases of fraud and urged members of the Executive Committee to continue strict enforcement in these cases to permanently rid African football of practices violating ethics and morality.