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Zambian FA approach Caf over alleged Burundi age-cheating

9:35 PM SGT 25/7/18
Italy Zambia Under-20 World Cup
Circulated images of Burundi Under-20 players have sparked a social media stir, with the players’ real ages being questioned

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has formally filed a complaint with the Confederation of African Football (Caf) over the alleged fielding of overage players by the Burundi Under-20 national team.

The Burundians knocked out Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations defending champions Zambia from qualifying for the 2019 edition to be staged in Niger.

A 3-0 home win by Burundi in the third round, second leg sealed a 3-1 aggregate victory and denied Zambia the ticket to Niger last Sunday.

FAZ has however not provided evidence of the age-cheating claims which also came in the wake of pictures of Burundi players doing the rounds on social media.

Zambia also allege that their players were abused by the Burundian army.

“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has formerly written to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) over the Burundi Footbal Federation’s decision to use overaged players in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Burundi and Zambia on the 22nd of July in Ngozi, Burundi,” said FAZ in a statement.

“FAZ has asked CAF to thoroughly investigate the background of the Burundi players. The association is further informed that Zambian players were subjected to physical intimidation and metal detectors used by soldiers during training and before the game.”

Players born on or after January 1, 1999 are eligible for the 2019 Under-20 Afcon.