SSFA to investigate those responsible for recruiting over-aged players
The second leg of the AFCON U-20 will be played here in Juba on 22nd April. South Sudan is trailing 5-1.
By David Mono Danga
South Sudan had only 13 eligible players during their first leg clash in the AFCON U-20 qualifiers in Kampala last Saturday.
The Bright Stars’ head Coach Ait Abdelmalek said nine players were removed from the squad leaving the team vulnerable against the Uganda Hippos, hence he had to play substitute goalkeeper, Tutu Kuwer upfront to cover for the missing players.
As a result, the Board of Directors of the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) formed a committee to investigate the circumstances that lead to the fielding of over aged players.
Addressing journalists in a press conference yesterday, Alul Daniel, the SSFA spokesperson said the people to be investigated are the Secretary General of the association, the chairperson of the National team committee, the Head of the delegation and the Technical staff.
Responding to why the SSFA selected the over-aged players in the first place, Alul denied the allegations that the nine players in question were over aged, accusing FUFA (the Federation of Uganda Football Association) of complicating things.
He said FUFA delayed to send the Confederation of African Football – CAF rules and regulations in time.
“They are not over-aged players; the FUFA just did not give us the CAF rules and regulations early. The rule considers those born in 1999 and below. They even delayed to disclose the exact date of the match until the SSFA contacted them,” Alul said.
“We have written a complainant letter to CAF regarding the behavior of FUFA in the first leg of the AFCON U-20 qualifier.”
Coch Abdelmalek said he rang a danger bell to SSFA as a sign of hazard because it is an administrative issue but added that they will have to replace the nine players who were considered ineligible to play in the AFCON U-20.
“Immediately this thing happened, I rang a sign of danger to SSFA because it is an administrative issue which has to be addressed as soon as possible,” Said Coach Abdelmalek, who saw his first game in charge of the Bright Stars end in a devastating five one defeat to the Uganda Hippos.
The SSFA urges every citizen to rally behind the national team during times of hardships as well as joyousness.
“We need everybody to stand with SSFA for the progress of sports in this nation. It should start with the common citizen up to the president of this country.”
It is a collective responsibility of the citizens, the fans and the media,” said the SSFA Spokesperson.
The SSFA Board of Directors also formed an organizing committee to organize and overlook the next clash against the Uganda Hippos in the second leg of the AFCON U-20 to be held on 22nd of this month.
The Investigative Committee will be led by Thiong John.