Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Team Media Officer of the Cameroon national U-17 team Albert Njié Mbonde has described as ‘waste of time,’ Ghana’s appeal to have the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rescind its decision on disqualifying the Black Starlets from participating in next year’s African Junior Championship to be hosted by Niger next year. Last Saturday, the Black Starlets were disqualified from participating in the U17 Championship following the CAF Organising Committee’s decision that there were discrepancies in the MRI results of Heart of Lions reserves team midfielder Isaac Twum after a retest was done on him on October 1. This followed a protest against seven Ghana players by Cameroon when they met the Black Starlets in the first leg of the final qualifying round to Niger last month. “From our own point of view, we think it [Ghana’s appeal] is a waste of time. If you watched the game and you saw the guys we presented as players and you saw the difference [with the Ghana team] because we are all Africans. It is true that you need legal documents to justify your claims but you shouldn’t also forget we are Africans; we know when a player is matured and due,” Njié Mbonde told Accra-based Asempa FM Monday night. “If the decision is overturned in favour of Ghana, it won’t change the fact that our cases are founded. CAF may decide otherwise sometimes if it gets political but I must tell you that Ghana has no chance. “By the descent of morphology of ages and all of that, I tell you Ghana has no chance. They are not new to us; we know them very well so we know what we are talking about. It could have even gone to more than two players; we just want to win this case at the level of two because we know that even one player is enough to be disqualified,” he added. CAF had upheld Cameroon’s protest following adverse findings by its Medical Committee made from the MRI details of Isaac Twum and Benjamin Asiedu which was submitted by the Ghana FA in March – but decided to suspend Ghana based on the reports on the former. The African football governing body sent Burkina Faso’s Dr. Francis Liliou who serves on the CAF Medical Committee to witness a retest of the two players the same Radiologist Consultant who carried out the initial MRI tests in Accra using the F-Marc procedure for age determination on October 1. Three weeks later [on Saturday, October 25], CAF wrote to the Ghana FA claiming the analysis of the MRI report from a Medical Centre in Ghana contradicts the analysis of two CAF medical experts on the eligibility of Isaac Twum and so has suspended the Black Starlets team. Twum background A little background information gathered by FootyGhana indicates that Isaac Twum is a February 14, 1998 born per his official documents and participated in the last edition of the African Junior Championship in Morocco two years ago.
He was scouted while playing in the Schools and Colleges competition for Koforidua Technical Secondary School was eligible for the 2013 Championship after the mandatory wrist MRI scan results placed him on Grade 1 of the CAF classifications. With age on his side, Twum now 16 years had his name registered as part of Ghana’s squad for the Niger 2015 qualifiers and his MRI scan placed him at Grade 2 as at March 2014 when Ghana submitted its list to CAF. Signals picked by FootyGhana indicates that the retest results showed a slight discrepancy with that of the initial test [done in March] but Twum was still within the age limit to make him eligible to feature for Ghana – he has after seven months from the initial test moved from Grade 2 to 3 of the ratings. It must be noted CAF has a 6-grading system which is used to determine the eligibility of players to the CAF U-17 category. Players who fall within Grades 1-5 are classified as being 18 years and below while those on Grade 6 are to be 19 years and above and automatically not qualified to play in the African Youth Championship. Ghana are strongly challenging CAF’s decision as they are convinced their mother body might have been wrongly advised especially after they carried another scan on Isaac Twum from another radiology expert in Accra last Sunday. The latest scan results proved Twum to be within the age limit, footy-Ghana is informed.

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