The Ghana U17 coach, Paa Kwesi Fabin, has rubbished the MRI scans recently conducted by the CAF on the eve of the recent Africa U17 Championship held in Morocco that approved several Nigerian players, who have now failed the test ahead of the World Cup.
Several Nigerian players, who looked more than their supposed U17 age, were approved by the continent’s governing body in April to play in the tournament in Morocco that helped them to qualify for the World Cup.
But the MRI tests conducted by CAF on the Nigerian players have turned out to be a massive embarrassment for the continent’s governing body as test conducted on these players, just few months after the April tournament, have turned out to be all over the age.
Fabin dismissed the CAF MRI scanning exercise, basing his argument on the fact that some Nigerian players who passed the test in Morocco have now failed same test few months later.
“This shows that CAF has not been truthful to us and the MRI Scan they conducted on the Nigerian team before the tournament in Morocco was a fallacy,” Fabin was quoted by Ghana radio station, Joy FM.
“I’m not surprised because I have worked as a youth coach for a very long time and when I saw the Nigerian team at the tournament, they were too old for the U17 age limit.”
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, had ordered a re-run of the MRI for players who participated at the last U-17 Cadet Championship to ascertain their status ahead of the 2013 World Cup which would be held in the UAE between October 17 and November 8.
Only players between Grade 1 and 5 of the MRI scan would be eligible to participate.
However, in a stout defense of his players, Nigeria coach, Manu Garba, stated that people should not be oblivious of the challenges posed by the MRI, explaining that since the team started this campaign the players are growing as it were.
“For instance all the players we used during the qualifiers and those who played in Morocco passed the MRI test. But imagine a scenario whereby a player who was on Grade 4 in April has grown to grade 6 in July but what can we do than to call on other players from our reservoir?’ he asked.
Nigeria were runners-up at the African Championship in Morocco and will be representing the continent alongside three others at the Cadet World Cup.