Over 30 Cameroon football players have failed age tests and are now disqualified from playing in the nation’s Under-17 side.
The news comes shortly before the U-17 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, meaning the team now face intense pressure to field a whole new squad.
The Cameroonian Federation initially addressed the matter with an official statement confirming that it was in the process of bringing in a new set of players for the games after 21 players failed these tests, but that number has now risen by a further 11.
The tests were ordered by Samuel Eto’o, President of the country’s governing body, Fecafoot.
A statement from Eto’o said: “There must be strict instructions in place for the actions to be taken in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have tarnished the image of Cameroon football.
“Fecafoot urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.”
The tests were reportedly MRI scans, which analyses someone’s wrist to identify how advanced their bone structure is. Similarly, Fecafoot blocked 14 players from taking part in the Under-17 AFCON in Gabon six years ago, after failing these same tests.
Prior to the news of the latest 11 disqualifications, a statement from the The Cameroonian Football Federation translated to: “We inform for public opinion that as part of the preparations for the UNIFFAC Limbe 2023 tournament, qualifying for the next African U-17 Nations Championship, 21 players out of the 30 currently on training have failed at the outcome of the MRI tests.
“They were immediately removed from the group. Steps were immediately taken for their replacement.
“This action is the result of strict instructions given by the President of FECAFOOT acting under the mandate of the COMEX, in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have, in the past, tarnished the image of the apex body of the Cameroon football.
“FECAFOOT urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.”