Zambia U17 bench suspended over COSAFA debacle

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The expulsion of the Zambia U17 national team at the COSAFA U17 tournament has come at a cost for the team’s technical bench, as the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has announced the entire team stands suspended following an emergency committee meeting on Friday 29 July.

The team was expelled from the tournament after complaints it had over age players at the U17 tournament and fresh Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests had to be conducted on the team, which ruled two players to be over the requisite age.

As a consequence, the team was sent home and Kenya handed its semi final slot and in a media briefing in Lusaka, Ponga Liwewe, the FAZ General Secretary revealed the entire technical team will be suspended to pave way for investigation into the matter.

FAZ will also be seeking clarification on the MRI tests conducted in Mauritius, as Liwewe states that the team was subjected to a similar test in Lusaka before leaving for Mauritius to take part in the tournament.

“The team was subjected to an MRI test here in Lusaka before leaving for Mauritius and of the 26 players tested, 20 were passed fit to go to the tournament in Mauritius. At present, FAZ is seeking clarification about the processes and the methodologies used to test them in Mauritius.

“This morning the emergency committee of FAZ met and made the decision that the full technical bench of the U17 national team is suspended to pave way for investigations into the matter. No effort will be spared in a bid to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

The tests in Mauritius found out that Nicholas Mulilo and Benjamin Phiri were the players outside the age bracket.