Allegations of age cheating in the ongoing Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup of Nations have been dismissed by organisers Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA).
The Under-16 tournament currently taking place at Nakuru High School has witnessed isolated cases of age cheating with fingers pointing at Kenya’s representatives St Anthony’s Boys.
However, no formal complaint has been made to either the organisers or the sponsors according to the KSSSA secretary general David Ngugi who reads mischief in the allegations.
There were murmurs of discontent from the Ethiopian camp after they were hammered 11-1 by Kenya. The Ethiopians were concerned by the age discrepancies among Kenyan players.
“I do not think we played against the proper opponents according to regulations. We are not happy at all,” said a disgruntled member of the Ehiopian team.
However, Ngugi reads mischief a sinister motive. “It is unfortunate that we have to hear some sensitive issues from improper channels. We have integrity to protect and rules of the competition are clear as raised in the technical committee meetings before the tournament began. I want to say with authority that nothing has been brought to our attention by any team official or country,” said Ngugi.
“Such talk is careless and meant to discredit the good work of genuine young and talented players. In any case, we have all documents and can stand challenged by anyone with issues,” added Ngugi.
According to Copa rules, the tournament is meant for players who are 16 and under with strict control measures and scrutiny of documents done before it started.
“We have integrity to protect as an organisation plus the championship must be seen to be clean and fair at all times. Anybody found culpable will automatically be disqualified,” said Ngugi.
There was a curious case on Monday when the Ugandan, team coached by Robert Mugisha, played their match against Zambia with 10 players after one of them was left out for allegedly being overage.