Cosafa sets mandatory MRI scan for U-17 players

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    Council for Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) wants participating teams at this month’s Under-17 Championship to conduct magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test for their players.

    Unlike in the past when Cosafa did the age verification test itself, this time the regional football governing body wants member associations to conduct the tests before their teams leave for the tournament, according to deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda.

    Cosafa will only verify the results when the team arrives at the tournament to be hosted by Mauritius from July 21-30 .

    Football Association fo Maalwi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda also confirmed the development.

    Malawi Under-17 players celebrate their 5-0 victory over Kenya in 2016

    “It is indeed now the responsibility of member associations to conduct the tests,” he said. “Cosafa will just verify if the results match the players that we have selected.”

    Meanwhile, the team is in camp under coach DeKlerk Msakakuona, who also led the junior Flames to bronze last year.

    Despite having only six players from last year’s squad, Msakakuona said he is confident of repeating the feat or even doing much better at the 2017 edition.

    Eight teams will battle out with Group A having hosts Mauritius, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

    Group B features Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.

    This will be the second consecutive year for Mauritius to host the event after it also staged the event in 2016.

    Matches will be played at two venues—the Saint Francois Xavier Stadium in the capital Port Louis and the Mauritius Football Association Technical Centre.

    Malawi’s Peter Banda finished as top scorer during the 2016 tourney with five goals.

    He also scored one of the two hat-tricks at the championship–the other coming from Abram Tjahikika of Namibia.

    Malawi also holds the biggest victory record at the Under-17 Championship.

    The junior Flames defeated East African guest nation Kenya 5-0 in group stage of the 2016 edition. n

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