Somalia U17 defeats Ethiopia in AFCON qualifier

Addis Ababa – Somalia Under-17 Football National Team beat rivals Ethiopia 1-0 on Monday in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Zonal Qualifiers for the 2023 U17 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The Somali team’s victory was the first encounter in the AFCON CECAFA Zone’s group stage, and it was a historic victory for Somalia’s U17 football team.

The number of teams participating in the CECAFA qualifiers has been reduced. Only five countries, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi and Tanzania, are participating in the qualifying tournaments.

Somalia will play its second match against Tanzania on the 9th of this month.

According to the statement from the CECAFA secretariat, Sudan and Djibouti were disqualified for age cheating.

Tournament organizers said several players failed the MRI wrist scans that help calculate an individual’s age.

FIFA began conducting MRI scans after the 2009 U17 World Cup in Nigeria to combat cheating in African age-group competitions, which FIFA said is more prevalent due to poor systems and record keeping.

The disqualification brings the total number of national teams that did not participate to four after Rwanda and Eritrea failed to qualify from Group A.