Africa’s football governing body, Confederation of African Football (CAF), has released a statement informing that Benin Republic had been banned for two years for fielding four overage players in the 2015 African U-17 Championship to take place in Niger.
CAF said, “the Organizing Committee of the African U-17 Championship in pursuant to Article 33 clause 11 of the regulations of the competition have therefore decided to disqualify Benin, with Mali qualifying to face Tunisia at the final round of the qualifiers”.
The statement went on to read, “We have therefore applied Article 37 of the regulations, particularly Paragraph 2 which states: “For any administrative error in the matter of the players’ registration or date of birth without deliberate intention, the concerned association shall be suspended for two years from all the age category competitions of CAF.”
Benin is the second federation member this year, along with Gambia, to suffer sanctions under the strict enforcement and zero tolerance policy declared by CAF President and the Executive Committee on issues related to compliance with the age limits for age competitions.
It is not unusual practice in African football for competing countries to use over age players in lower age-restricted competitions in order to gain advantage.