Nigeria warned over persistent age-cheats

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The Independent Football

A former Nigeria international appointed to oversee the establishment of his country's own Court of Arbitration for Sport believes age-cheating in youth football tournaments is still endemic in Africa.

Adokiye Amiesimaka represented Nigeria at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow before becoming a barrister in Lagos. His country will begin their Under-20 World Cup campaign in Colombia on Sunday having won their sixth continental title in South Africa back in April.

"Many of the players who were in South Africa were over-age," Amiesimaka claimed. "But they are usually dropped before the World Cup starts and younger players are brought in.

"At this point in time, I choose not to mention names. Let's see how it is handled in the next few days. My main concern is not to embarrass my country but people in Nigeria know the players I am talking about."

When Under-20 coach John Obuh named his 21-man squad last weekend, there were no fewer than eight players missing from squad that played in South Africa, including Stanley Okoro – nicknamed "Little Messi" in Nigeria.