The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has lodged a formal complaint to the Confederation of African football (CAF) over alleged age cheating by the Burundi Under-20 national team, according to FAZ president Andrew Kamanga.
Burundi qualified to the Niger 2019 Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of defending champions Zambia via a 3-1 aggregate scoreline over two legs.
But FAZ are adamant Burundi used overage players in both fixtures and and have asked the continental soccer governing body to institute investigations.
“I would like to confirm that the Football Association of Zambia lodged a complaint with CAF against Burundi over age cheating,” FAZ president Andrew Kamanga wrote on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Kananga has sought to downplay the recent disappointing results recorded by the country’s two junior teams.
The Under-20 national team failed to defend the African title they won on home soil last year, meekly surrendering to Burundi 3-0 in the final qualification match of the 2019 edition, while their Under-17 counterparts failed to defend their COSAFA title, having been eliminated from the this year’s tournament at group stage.
This means the country will have to wait a few years to see it’s youths teams complete at the continental, let alone world stage.
However, Kananga believes there’s plenty to be positive about.
“The average age for the under 20 team is 17 years. The average age for the current under 17 is 14 years. The average age for the Under 23 team is 20 years,” Kananga stated. “As we continue to graduate them up the ranks, we are creating a reservoir of National team players.
“Our countrywide grassroots football development program will ensure that we have a revolving pool of top class football players for the foreseeable future.”