The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has lost an appeal against the Gambia Football Association (GFA), in which it was alleged that the Gambia side used three over-aged players during their encounter with Sierra Leone’s U-17 team in the on-going U-17 competition. The Gambia’s under-17 team has been cleared of alleged age cheating by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The move means that the “Baby Scorpions” can take their place in the second round of qualifying for the 2009 African Under-17 Championship in Algeria. They would play Ghana, having beaten Sierra Leone 7-1 on aggregate in the previous round. The Sierra Leone FA had complained about three players in the Gambian side who they claimed were over-aged. CAF having investigated the claims had ruled that there is no evidence to back it up. The governing body of African football, in the statement issued, noted that the players in question shared names with other footballers who had previously played in the competition. The Sierra Leone Football Association told the BBC it would not be appealing against the ruling.
Gambia’s football authorities have also denied the accusations.