Blantyre Youth Football Association (BYFA) has turned down some FMB Under 20 League teams’ request to be allowed to use players identity cards (IDs) for the previous season during the 2016 competition.
BYFA conducted vetting exercise at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday to ensure that all the players are within the recommended age bracket before going through a photo-shoot for the new ID procession, but some teams felt this was a waste of time and resources since the details on their identification documents for last season cannot change.
“Why should our players undergo a new age screening exercise when everything about their age and other details are already available on the IDs for last season? What is the use of repeating the same exercise every season instead of just checking for details on the existing IDs?” wondered Kangaroo Academy coach Trevor Kajawa.
But, BYFA chairperson Paul Lawrence argued that there was supposed to be a new exercise because, as a new committee, they need to do their own vetting process as they were not sure if all the players acquired their IDs on merit.
“We got wind that some over-aged players fraudulently got IDs with altered dates of birth despite being disqualified during a similar exercise. As a new committee, we are serious on eradicating age cheating in our fold, hence the new age-screening exercise,” Lawrence said.
He added that the new exercise aims at helping the body to create a reliable data base.
At least 150 youth football players turned up for the vetting exercise that saw almost 50 individuals declared overage.
According to article two, sub-section (m) of the National Youth Football Association (NYFA) constitution, it is only individuals that are under the age of 19 on the first day of January in the year that can be registered. n