Flames coach Ronny van Guneugden (RVG) has said the selection of overaged players into national junior teams should not be tolerated by authorities.
The coach was reacting to the move by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to throw out some players from the Under-20 camp that were deemed to be overaged.
“As the overseer of all national teams and someone who has worked in the developmental stages for sometime [in Belgium], I was very concerned with the development because it affects transition.
“It is something that should not be allowed to happen. Success has no short-cuts and we should not prioritise success at the expense of development.
“I am already in the process of meeting those responsible for keeping the records of the players, especially at youth level just to ensure that players that are picked should strictly be within the age-range,” he said.
RVG said many African countries have been negatively affected by the use of over-aged players at international tournaments.
“That is why over the years, African teams are able to do well at junior tournaments but struggle at senior level because by the time the players are drafted into the senior team, they would have run out of steam. There are cases whereby a player who was 18 three to four years back, would be 17 now. That happens in some countries.
“It is something that we seriously need to guard against and I will be very strict on that,” he said.
Following reports on the inclusion of overaged players in Under-20 squad, FAM last week instructed technical director John Kaputa to lead a re-selection and screening process.
Kaputa told The Nation last week that they were profiling players’ history starting from primary to secondary school then FMB Under-20 if they happened to play in the junior league.
The verification also traced the players’ regional league history in Simama, Masters Security and Chipiku regional football leagues and finally the TNM Super League for those that are playing in the elite league.
The exercise discovered massive age-cheating with some players bearing different ages in various leagues, according to Kaputa.
He said: “The process is ongoing. Those that have contradicting ages will be sent home.”
Asked how the players found themselves in the squad in the first place, Kaputa, who was not in the meeting that initially came up with the squad, said the under-20 technical panel erred by taking as gospel truth the passport details of the players. n