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Ghana seeks eligibility interpretation

13 years ago

Soccer’s place in Beijing 2008 might be thrown into jeopardy if the proper interpretation governing the eligibility of players participating in the qualifiers is not checked.

And with the eligibility of players taking part in the African preliminary qualifying round governed by a FIFA circular to all member associations of CAF, Ghana has filed a protest against the qualification of two players used by Burkina Faso in Wednesday’s first leg match played in Ouagadougou.

Though Ghana lost 2-0, available records point to the flouting of the competition rules with the use of two unqualified players who are clearly over-aged for the competition.

The Ghana team protested to the match commissioner of the game with Burkina Faso over the use of Saidou Maidy Panandetigu and Fousseni Traore.

A formal protest would be forwarded to FIFA Thursday demanding that Burkina Faso be declared losers of the match with Ghana declared winners into the next stage of the competition.

However, the Burkinabe officials claimed that the players were eligible since any nation could field three over-aged players.

Soccer governing body, FIFA in its circular dated August 3, 2006 for participation for the men’s football preliminary competition for the Beijing 2008 stated clearly that only players born after January 1, 1985 could in the preliminary round.

With the women’s competition, there are no age restrictions.

Records given by the Burkinabes show that of Saidou Maidy Panandetigu captain of the with registered with shirt number 12 with his passport number S 1108688 was born on March 22, 1984 while Fousseni Traore with jersey number 4 and holding passport number S 1106385 and born on July 18, 1984.

Also under FIFA’s Match Eligibility regulations .13.2, it states that: “Only players born on or after 1 January 1985 are eligible to feature in the preliminary round of the Beijing 2008 competition.”

Three tickets would be available to next year’s football tournament at the men’s Olympic Games from the African continent as the preliminary qualifying round begins on the continent.