A member of the two-man CAF/FIFA Liaison Team, Oti Akenteng has revealed that the Black Starlets are the only team to successfully pass the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan ahead of the upcoming WAFU zonal qualifiers for the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations tournament in Niger.
The Black Starlets are scheduled to compete in a seven-nation tournament which will run from 2-15 September, 2018.
Ghana were the only team to have a successful passed the test, however, Benin have been expelled from the tournament after more than half of its players failed the test.
This means only six teams will compete in the tourney.
Ghana’s Group A opponents Niger and Togo had a player each fail the age-eligibility test.
Nigeria and Ivory Coast have their squad reduced after two players failed the test and have been sent home.
Group B opponent Burkina Faso had one player ejected from the squad.
In an interview with the Media Officer of the U17 Team, Martins Edward Odiasempa Kwame Oware, who doubles as the head of Sports for Happy FM, Mr. Akenteng disclosed that it is only the two-time World Champions that went through the MRI test unscathed.
“It’s this that I had the official message from the General Secretary of the WAFU B Zone Mr. Akamalan and from the mail that I received and the letter that was given officially given to me meant that all our boys have gone through whiles a country like Benin is leaving the tournament zone because about ten of their players have been disqualified, and then other countries have also suffered one or two issues but it is only Ghana that went through with almost all the twenty players we presented,” Mr. Akenteng revealed.
“Definitely you will it’s an achievement because this thing happened to us some time ago and if we haven’t learnt any lesson from that then it is a problem, so for me I think it’s a big achievement having gone through this one but all the same thank the Liaison Team that recommended to the Ministry of Sports that the players should be taken through the MRI two days to the time of the commencement of the tournament and the Ministry also listened and did it. Fortunately for us, this has contributed a lot in making sure that we passed the test.”
“We were so confident but you know this is a machine and anything can happen at anytime hence for us to have gone through the MRI without any blemish is an achievement. It’s a first victory for Ghana, we are only praying and hoping that it will be translated on the pitch for the actual tournament so that at least we will still be the leaders there.”
Host nation Niger and Togo will kick-off today at 3:00pm.
By: Emmanuel Owusu Boadi