Zimbabwe has been disqualified from the COSAFA U17 Men’s Championship, currently underway in South Africa, for using over-age players.
The Young Warriors had started the campaign on Thursday, playing in the tournament opener against Angola. They drew the match 1-1 and were scheduled to play South Africa on Saturday in the other Group A game before rounding-up the first round against Eswatini.
However, they will not be able to continue after Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests found that a couple of players in the squad have falsely presented their age.
Eswatini, Comoros and Botswana were also found guilty and have been sent home.
The disqualification means the Young Warriors are also out of the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco.
The COSAFA tournament is being used as the qualifying campaign for the continental event.
In confirming the developments, COSAFA said: “The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Youth Competitions Committee made the decision to disqualify the teams from the zonal qualifier tournament for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations on Friday.
“The quartet all had at least one player fail their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that were conducted in the Host Country prior to the start of the competition.”
Meanwhile, revised fixtures will start on Sunday as a four-team tournament and will be played on a round-robin basis, with the top two teams advancing to a final on November 29.
Angola and Zambia do battle in an early kick-off before hosts South Africa play against Malawi at 3 pm.