The Organising Committee for U-20 Africa Cup of Nations have disqualified Uganda from the qualifiers of the 2017 edition for fielding an ineligible player in their First Round second leg clash against Rwanda.
The match played on Saturday, 23 April 2016 in Kampala ended 2-1 in favour of Uganda, who won the tie 3-2 on the back of a 1-1 draw from the first leg in Kigali.
However, the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) lodged a protest challenging the eligibility of four Uganda players; Tumwesigye Frank, Aheebwa James, Lwalirwa Halid and Kizza Martin, stating that the dates of birth on the passports of the four players were different from the ones registered with their clubs, Vipers and SC Villa for the 2016 CAF Champions League.
After checking the CAF Content Management System (CMS), it was found that only Aheebwa James has two different dates of birth: 19/5/1998 on the passport, and 27/3/1997 on his CAF Inter-clubs licence. The other three had the same date of birth indicated on both CMS ID and passport.
It was also noted that the two dates of birth are within the age limit for the competition (players must be born after 1.1.1997), however, the following two articles of the regulations of U20 state:
Article 46 Each player must possess a passport containing his photo and giving the full particulars on the player’s age (day, month and year of birth). A player who does not have a passport issued by the competent authorities shall not be authorised to participate in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. In the case of junior players participating in CAF Inter- Clubs competitions:
(a)- He will not be qualified to participate in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations if the date of birth indicated in his licence is different from the one indicated on his passport.
Article 40. Para 11 A team which allows a non-qualified or a suspended player to take part in a direct knock-out match shall lose the match and shall be eliminated from the competition, even in the absence of protests.
Thus, the U-20 AFCON Organising Committee decided that Aheebwa James was not qualified to participate in the qualifier between Uganda and Rwanda, and based on Article 40.11 of the regulations, Uganda is eliminated.
Rwanda will face Egypt at the Second Round.