New rules bite as South Sudan are disqualified from AFCON U-17

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Danito NSUBUGA 

CECAFA representatives South Sudan became the first victims of the newly ammended article 27 of the CAF Total Energies U-17 regulations after five of their players failed the MRI scan test.

The subsection reads;  If after performing the eligibility test (MRI) for a participating team and
four (4) or more of its players are found ineligible, the participating team will be disqualified.

Sudan alongside Somalia qualified for their first ever tournament from the CECAFA region and were bound to face Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Mali in group C. Their opening match was slated for May 1st against Cameroon.

The South Sudan federation confirmed the ordeal on Sunday morning, announcing that their appeal to see that CAF overturn their decision was rejected.

“The South Sudan football association regrets to announce to that t our team has been disqualified from the AFCON U-17 2023 due to the non eligibility of five players after the MRI test”.

They further confirmed that the test was conducted on April 26th before the start of the tournament that was kicked off last evening with hosts Algeria beating Somalia 2-0.

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It is reported that 2 of the players were part of the qualification process and the 3 joined the team after.

WHAT THE NEW RULES SAY:

According to the ammended Article 27 of rules and regulations,

27.1 For the qualifying phase, an eligibility test will be compulsory performed for all the participating teams before the start of the matches.

27.2 The test will be performed according to CAF Protocol in a health facility duly accredited centre where there is an MRI apparatus (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

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27.3 CAF reserve the right to make the eligibility test (MRI) as well during the final phase for the twelve teams qualified to the tournament. The cost of the MRI test that will be covered by CAF.

27.4. If after performing the eligibility test (MRI) for a participating team and
four (4) or more of its players are found ineligible, the participating team will be disqualified.

27.5. If after performing an MRI test for a participating team and one (1), two (2) or three (3) of its players are found ineligible, the said player(s) will not be allowed to participate in the competition. The concerned team will be allowed to participate in the competition but is not authorized to replace the ineligible player(s).

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27.6. The following procedures shall be followed:

(i) All participating teams are expected to arrive five (5) days before the start of the competition. The host association shall cover the related costs.

(ii) The participating teams may be subjected to MRI tests, to be conducted at the earliest five (5) days before the start of the competition. CAF reserves the right to conduct an MRI Test at any time before or during the competition.

(iii) Any request for a second reading for a player found to be ineligible shall be addressed to CAF by email no later than 3 hours following notification of the outcome of the first reading.’’

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