Black Starlets to undergo MRI wrist scans ahead of FIFA U-17 World Cup

Black Starlets to undergo MRI wrist scans ahead of FIFA U-17 World Cup

The Black Starlets will have their wrists scanned by MRI to authenticate their ages again before the start of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup in India.

The tournament which starts on Friday is restricted for only players born after January 1, 2000.

Officials are taking no chances after defending champions Nigeria were caught in a major age-cheating scandal.

Nigeria, who have won the tournament a record five times, bombed out of qualifying after they lost 26 squad members who were found to be over-age ahead of a key clash in August.

Age fraud is also rampant in other countries, according to football officials, prompting FIFA to bring Magnetic Resonance Imaging equipment to the 17th edition of the tournament, which is taking part in six Indian cities.

MRI scans can determine whether a player is below 17 with 99 percent accuracy, experts say, as they can show whether he or she has stopped growing — which usually happens after 17.

“While it is the responsibility of each member association to ensure that their players meet the age requirements, FIFA has decided to conduct magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist at its U-17 competitions,” said a FIFA spokesperson.

Play gets underway on Friday in New Delhi, where two-time champions Ghana play Colombia at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, while New Zealand clash with Turkey in Mumbai.

 
Credit: Ghanasoccernet.com