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BREAKING – CAF rules against Uganda U20, Rwanda through to next phase of qualifiers

BREAKING – CAF rules against Uganda U20, Rwanda through to next phase of qualifiers

The Organising Committee for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations has ruled in Rwanda’s favour to proceed to the third and final round of the CAF U-20 AFCON Qualifiers – Zambia 2017.

The CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani confirmed in an official letter sent to both FERWAFA and FUFA on Wednesday morning.

The decision was taken by CAF following Rwanda’s protest on ineligibility of Ugandan Player during Match 16 Uganda vs. Rwanda played on April 23rd, 2016 in Kampala.

The case is related to the eligibility of four players from the Uganda National U-20 team on the occasion of the 2nd leg U-20 match 16 Uganda vs. Rwanda played on April 23rd, 2016.

The match took place in Kampala and ended with a result 2-1 in favour of Uganda and with a result of 1-1 in the 1st leg match. Uganda qualified to the next round.

On April 24th, the commissioner informed CAF that Rwanda filed a protest against the qualification of the following 4 players participating in CAF Inter Clubs Competitions: Tumwesigye Frank, Aheebawa James, Lwalirwa Halid and Kizza Martin.

The protest stated that the dates of birth on the passports of these players are different than the ones registered with their clubs playing in CAF Champions League 2016 namely Vipers Sports and Sports Villa clubs.

On April 25, CAF received a letter from FERWAFA confirming the protest against the above mentioned four players.

On April 26, CAF asked FUFA to provide them with the passport copies of the players subject of the protest – they replied on the same day.

After checking the CMS, it was found that only the player Aheebwa James has two different dates of birth: 19/5/1998 on the passport while 27/3/1997 on his CAF Inter-clubs licence. The rest of players had the same date of birth indicated on both CMS ID and passport.

On May 3rd, FUFA explained that they had checked their records with regards to player Aheebwa James and vipers Sports Club of CAF Champions League, and FUFA confirmed that the club played two matches against Enyimba International FC of Nigeria and indicated that in all correspondences’ the date of birth is consistent with the National Passport and FUFA have attached copies of communications between the federations quoting the passport details of the players. FUFA also sent copies of two local licenses (2014/2015) and (2015/2016) indicating the date of birth on the passport.

However, FUFA recognized that the different date of birth entered in CAF CMS system can only be explained due to a typing error by the FUFA system Manager of CMS.

It was also noted that the two dates of birth are within the age limit (players must be born after 1.1.1997), however, the following two articles of the regulations of U20 state:

Article 46
Each player must possess a passport containing his photo and giving the full particulars on the player’s age (day, month and year of birth) a player who does not have a passport issued by the competent authorities, shall not be authorised to participate in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. In the case of junior player participating in CAF Inter- Clubs competitions:

a- He will not be qualified to participate in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations if the date of birth indicated in his licence is different from the one indicated on his passport.

Article 40. Para 11
A team which allows a non-qualified or a suspended player to take part in a direct knock-out match shall lose the match and shall be eliminated from the competition, even in the absence of protests.

Based on all the above, a majority of the members of the AFCON U20 Organising Committee considered that:

1. Based on the unequivocal fact that player Aheebwa James’ date of births appear differently on his passport and CAF Inter-clubs license

2. Based on the fact that Article 46 (a) of the Regulations is a strict liability rule that permits no derogation on the player requirements

The AFCON U20 Organising Committee considered that player Aheebwa James was not qualified to participate in the CAF U20 AFCON Qualifier fixture between Uganda and Rwanda and decided to apply article 40.11 of the Regulations, whereby Uganda U20 national team shall lose match 16 played on April 23rd 2016 and be eliminated from the competition.

Rwanda will now start immediate preparations to face Egypt in the final round of the CAF U20 qualifiers. Rwanda hosts Egypt in the first leg scheduled for May 20–22 while the second leg will be staged between June 10–12 in Cairo.

African Football Writer contributing @Soka25east | Commentator; appeared on @MySoccerAfrica, @KweseSports, @ntvkenya, others | Keen follower of African Football. E-mail:

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