LFA secretary general Alphonso Armah told a Liberian paper that he has sent an appeal to the Confederation of African Football Caf, alleging that several Gambian players in the team that beat them in the Under-20 qualifiers were born in 1994 and therefore not qualified to play the competition.

The young Scorpions beat Liberia 1-0 in Monrovia, but according to the Daily Observer, quoting leading Liberian daily , FrontPage Africa, the Liberian football authorities immediately lodged an appeal to CAF complaining that some of the Gambian players are over aged .”This is from the Liberian FrontPage Africa newspaper; 



”The Liberian football Association believes Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally,Saloum Faal, Ali Sowe and unused substitute Sampierre Mendy are ineligible to feature in the preliminaries having been born in 1994. A copy of the protest letter obtained by FrontPageAfrica shows that Mendy was born on July 12 with passport #389290; Sanneh was born on November 11 with passport #453884; Trawally was born on November 10 with passport #453505; Faal came on earth on October 10 with passport #301441 while Sowe was born on June 14 with passport #332465.

The tournament’s regulations mandate participating countries to field players who must celebrate their 20th birthday after March 22, 2015 because the finals will take place from March 8-22 in Dakar. At the 2013 FIFA under-20 World Cup in Turkey, the finalists were mandated to field players born on or after 1January 1993.In addition to the above provisions, players who have already taken part in a preliminary or final competition of the FIFA under-20 World Cup and/or have taken part in a preliminary or final competition of an Olympic football tournament were cleared to compete provided they still fulfill the above age requirement” It remains to be seen whether CAF will honor the protest because Captain Bubacarr Sanyang was told by his officials to not sign the form after it was signed by Benjamin Gbamy. But Ghanaian match commissioner Louis Laryea, who was present when Sanyang was forced away by his Gambian officials and technical staff, has acknowledged he will mention it in his match report”.

However, speaking to The Standard yesterday, the Second vice president of the GFF, Kebba Touray rejected the claims as rubbish. ”We have studied and understand the regulations and as far as we are concerned all our players are under 20 right now though there are few who are born in 1994 but are yet to be 20 exactly. The competition allows national associations to change players who turned 20 during the qualifiers as they would not be eligible for the tournament proper should the team qualifies,” Touray said.

Liberian had in the past made similar allegations against other nations which turned out to be unfounded and dimissed by Caf. It is hoped here that this one too turns out the same.

BY Lamin Cham