Ghana has been fined $100,000 and banned from participating in the African qualifiers to the next two editions of the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup over age fraud.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) imposed the sanction on the West African giants following a protest by Morocco in the final round of the qualifiers to the India 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Before kickoff of the second leg, the Moroccans filed a protest alleging that two Black Maidens players – Nancy Amoh who scored in the 2-0 first-leg win in Accra and Rasheeda Shahadu – had “falsified their birthdate information and are over the age of 17 and are therefore considered to be ineligible to play in the competition in question.”
“In support of its claims, the FRMF (Morocco FA) provided the disciplinary board with some evidence from the clubs for which the two players played, and this clearly showed discrepancies between the ages they were supposed to have.
“The Ghana Football Association (hereinafter the GFA) was given the opportunity to defend themselves against the said claims by providing the Board with a written response,” read portions of a Caf Disciplinary Board ruling dated July 3.
But quite instructive, Ghana failed to contest the claim with a written response.
“The GFA did not provide a statement within the course of these disciplinary proceedings” “nor any evidence to refute the arguments alleged in the reports included in the protest, which indicate discrepancies in the age of the players,” Caf said.
The Caf Disciplinary Board was left to exercise its discretion regarding proof by considering that Morocco’s evidence against Ghana established “discrepancies in the age of the players in question” – violations of Article 44 of Caf WAFCON Regulations and Article 135 of Caf Disciplinary Code.
In a three-point ruling, the Caf Disciplinary Board decided to:
- suspend both players: Nancy Amoh player Number 3 and Rasheeda Shahadu player Number 14 for a period of 1 year from all Caf competitions.
- Ban the GFA from participating in the next two editions of the Fifa U17W African Qualifiers.
- Impose a financial sanction of 100.000 USD upon your federation.
The Caf ruling means Ghana – who did not qualify for India 2022 as Morocco cancelled out the 2-goal deficit and went on to win the tie on penalties – will not be involved in the African qualifiers for the 2024 and 2026 U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Read the full ruling here: