Age test on African players?

BehindEnemyLines

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Anyone know how accurate the test they do for u17 players is?

I know Nigeria have had a lot of problems with their youth squad players being overage, so was curious about how they test and how accurate it is.....then I just saw Arsenals new 18 year old Nigerian striker and wondering if they can test his age accurately?
http://metro.co.uk/2016/08/05/arsenal-confirm-kelechi-nwakali-transfer-and-immediately-reveal-hes-leaving-again-on-loan-6050840/

Does Lazio still have that teenager that looks like a grandad?

Is this merely a lack of administration on birth registration or a more contrived problem?
 

Danners9

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Both, I think.

One problem is that people born in rural areas may not know the exact date of their birthday, and when it gets registered who knows how long after it happened it may be, so they guess. Or lie. Or don't know so someone else guesses/lies.

Another is that opportunities come along and if you're too old, that might be it. Won't come along again. Easier to say you are the required age to get a chance and then have to go with it. Or an agent tries to sell the player because a club is looking at players for a particular age group, so it's their way out of Nigeria (for example) and into European football. All the documents will be produced and the player - and his family - are on their way.

A more innocent answer is that people mature at different rates and then plateaux. A more developed child will lose his edge as everyone else catches up, which is often why so many 'wonderkids' fade away.
 

Ribble

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Anyone know how accurate the test they do for u17 players is?
Apparently it's 99% accurate, but it errs more on the side of ruling out younger players who've developed quicker rather than the other way. For example This Kid failed the test, despite having a US birth certificate that verified his age.

Still, taking a quick look into this I found out that this happened only 3 days ago :eek:

http://africanfootball.com/news/635461/EXCLUSIVE-Staggering-26-fail-Eaglets-MRI-test-first-team-wiped-out

EXCLUSIVE: STAGGERING 26 FAIL EAGLETS MRI TEST, FIRST-TEAM WIPED OUT

Wednesday Aug 03, 2016. 13:55

Nigeria will be hugely depleted for Saturday’s U17 AFCON qualifier at home against Niger after a staggering 26 players out of 60 failed the mandatory MRI screening conducted last week.

A top official told only AfricanFootball.com that what is disturbing is not only the high number of those who failed the age test, but the quality of those who will not be eligible as the Eaglets starting XI have been completely wiped out with only two surviving players.

“It is a disaster,” exclaimed one devastated official.

“Virtually the first team the coaches have been working on have been disqualified. It’s a serious problem.”

We have exclusively gathered that top NFF officials have now gone into panic mode with blames being traded over “this mass failure”.

Several of the players were in tears and total shock when the final results came through this morning.

The affected players have since quit the team’s training camp in Abuja for their various bases.

Among those who flung the age test was a star striker, who came through the national U15 team and has been outstanding in training leading up to Saturday’s AFCON qualifier.

Another promising player disqualified only recently forced his way into the starting XI of coach Manu Garba’s team after a late call-up.

As first reported only by AfricanFootball.com, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have moved swiftly to ensure a much more transparent management of this MRI test by deploying independent doctors to the various member-associations.

In the case of Nigeria, an Egyptian doctor supervised the screening exercise last week.

Nigeria have won the FIFA U17 World Cup a record five times – 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
 

BehindEnemyLines

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Apparently it's 99% accurate, but it errs more on the side of ruling out younger players who've developed quicker rather than the other way. For example This Kid failed the test, despite having a US birth certificate that verified his age.

Still, taking a quick look into this I found out that this happened only 3 days ago :eek:

http://africanfootball.com/news/635461/EXCLUSIVE-Staggering-26-fail-Eaglets-MRI-test-first-team-wiped-out
That's actually what made me think about it to start with, and I find it staggering that any of the disqualified players should be described as "shocked" because the only shocking thing for them should be the fact that they actually got caught!

What I also find strange is that there's been suspicion of this for years and yet the Nigerian FA don't appear to have done anything to tackle the problem and clear their name......and now they've been made to look foolish and casts suspicion upon all their previous youth tournament wins.
 

Ribble

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That's actually what made me think about it to start with, and I find it staggering that any of the disqualified players should be described as "shocked" because the only shocking thing for them should be the fact that they actually got caught!

What I also find strange is that there's been suspicion of this for years and yet the Nigerian FA don't appear to have done anything to tackle the problem and clear their name......and now they've been made to look foolish and casts suspicion upon all their previous youth tournament wins.
Well the previous 2 have come whilst the testing conditions have been in place, so not all of them. I imagine that most of them aren't really much older, it doesn't benefit the Nigerian team to have players they know are over-age any more with this system in place, but clearly there needs to be more extensive testing earlier on for these players so that an issue like this doesn't occur. Really what that needs is investment from CAF and FIFA to implement, maybe with the changes at FIFA they'll see something actually happen.
 

C0YS

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That's actually what made me think about it to start with, and I find it staggering that any of the disqualified players should be described as "shocked" because the only shocking thing for them should be the fact that they actually got caught!

What I also find strange is that there's been suspicion of this for years and yet the Nigerian FA don't appear to have done anything to tackle the problem and clear their name......and now they've been made to look foolish and casts suspicion upon all their previous youth tournament wins.
What a simplistic view. As has been described before, a lot of their players may not well know there age as they come from backgrounds where knowing your age is not really a norm. Obviously a lot of players will underestimate their age in the hope of gaining an advantage, but I imagine a lot of players were genuinely shocked to find that they didn't fulfill the requirements.

Its a very difficult problem to tackle and there is only so much the Nigerian FA can do. It is a societal thing and requires greater record keeping in the country. The issue is that Nigeria is not exactly a simple country politically, and the government doesn't exactly have much control of certain regions and frankly there is no reason why it should be a particular priority.
 
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Metalhead

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What a simplistic view. As has been described before, a lot of their players may not well know there age as they come from backgrounds where knowing your age is not really a norm. Obviously a lot of players will underestimate their age in the hope of gaining an advantage, but I imagine a lot of players were genuinely shocked to find that they didn't fulfill the requirements.

Its a very difficult problem to tackle and there is only so much the Nigerian FA can do. It is a societal thing and requires greater record keeping in the country. The issue is that Nigeria is not exactly a simple country politically, and the government doesn't exactly have much control of certain regions and frankly there is no reason why it should be a particular priority.
In fairness, it does seem like an unusual situation if you are not used to it. Living in the UK, the idea that someone might not know their age is surprising although I take the point that this isn't necessarily the case there.
 
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