Ten players sentenced to prison for age cheating in Benin

Benin Republic
The Benin Football Federation has imposed jail sentence to its players for age cheating at Afcon U-17 qualifiers

A Cotonou court on Tuesday sentenced ten players and an official to prison for age cheating and fraud charges. 

This is after Benin were expelled from the 2019 Under-17 African Cup of Nations qualifiers after half of the team failed the MRI [Magnetic Resonance Imaging] test last month-September.

With the intervention of several leaders from the federation, the players were stopped by police upon their return home from Niamey, where they were taking part in the qualifiers, and were each sentenced to a month-long imprisonment today.

The new president of the Beninese Football Federation, Mathurin de Chacus, is the one who filed a complaint about the overage player's scandal and promised “very heavy” sanctions, saying this is just the beginning in his attempts to "put an end to corruption, improvisation and amateurism" at the West African country's football federation.

According to AFP's report, several members including a policeman and local elected officials were alleged to have played a part in this scandal but were set free on the "benefit of the doubt". 

At the same hearing, the Benin federation's former president Anjorin Moucharafou was also sentenced to 12 months in jail.

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Moucharafou had been arrested in July 2011 for fraud.

'Age cheating scandal' is nothing new to Benin as  FIFA has previously suspended the country completely in 2004 and also sent several ban threats between 2010 and 2013.

In 2016, their junior national team was embroiled in yet another scandal.