Speaking to The Standard yesterday, a former senior sports administrator who preferred anonymity said the rule is ambiguous as it is not clear whether players who are under-20 now but would be over-20 in 2015 are allowed to play at any stage of the competition. ”Otherwise, the wisest thing would have been to use players born from January 1995. But I am not trying to pass judgement here. I’m just confused,” he said.
Another football personality contacted by The Standard said only Caf could tell anything clear about this. ”Liberia is claiming they filed a report to Caf but without the Gambian captain signing I wonder if it would be accepted. But whether or not their claims are valid, this should be a wakeup call for all of us here,’ he added.
Mustapha Ann, an ardent football follower, said the GFF is right. These players are qualified as long as they are under 20. It has happened everywhere; they can play until they turn 20,” he said.
For the benefit of our readers we reproduce the latest Fifa rules on player eligibility, applied in the last World Under-20 Championship finals in Turkey in 2013.
Eligibility of players
1. Each Participating Member Association shall ensure the following when selecting its representative team for the World Cup:
a) All players shall hold the nationality of its country and be subject to its jurisdiction;
b) All players shall be eligible for selection in accordance with the FIFA
Statutes and relevant FIFA regulations, in particular articles 5 to 8 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes.
2. In addition to the above provision, each Participating Member Association shall ensure that all players of its representative team were born on or after 1 January 1993.
3. In addition to the above provisions, players who have already taken part in a preliminary or final competition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and/or have taken part in a preliminary or final competition of an Olympic Football Tournament may compete in this competition provided they still fulfilll the above age requirement.
4. Protests regarding the eligibility of players shall be decided by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code (cf. art. 11 par. 3).
5. The Participating Member Associations shall be responsible for fielding only eligible players. Failure to do so will lead to the consequences stipulated in the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
25 Player lists and official delegation lists
Provisional list of players
1. Each Participating Member Association shall submit a provisional list of 35 players (a minimum of four of whom shall be goalkeepers) to the FIFA general secretariat, accompanied by copies of the birth certificate and passport of each player appearing on the list. Further specifics of the provisional list, and the deadline by which the list shall be submitted to the FIFA general secretariat, will be stipulated in the relevant circular.
Any change requests to the provisional list must be submitted no later than ten days before the final list deadline and are subject to the approval of the FIFA Organising Committee.
If any protest concerning one of the rules is submitted by a team to the commissioner, he must try to reconcile conflicting points of view within the framework of the rules of the competition. If, however, he does not succeed, he will register the protest on the appropriate forms. In the event of no appropriate forms being available, the commissioner shall record the protest in his match report and have it signed by the captains.
In all cases, the match will be played in accordance with the provisions of the rules according to the interpretation given by the match commissioner.]]>