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Over-aged Zambians busted on Facebook paving way for Kenya’s progression in Cosafa

A Facebook post has cost the Zambia national U-17 football team its place at the ongoing Cosafa U17 Championship in the process handing Kenya a semi final slot on a silver platter.

The Zambian team was on Thursday night disqualified from the tournament for fielding ineligible players, thanks to information contained on the Facebook page of one their players suspected to be overage.

Kenya is the biggest beneficiary of Zambia’s disqualification from the age group competition currently underway in Mauritius.

The emerging Stars, who twice lost heavily to Zambia (4-0) and Malawi (5-0) before beating Madagascar 2-1 in pool matches, have been reinstated and are now set to face South Africa in a tough semi final contest on Friday evening.

“The development is very unfortunate. We are in deliberations, and investigating the matter,” Football Association of Zambia’s CEO Ponga Liwewe told Nairobi News on Friday.

Facebook details on Zambian Under 17 player Nicholas Mulilo.
Facebook details on Zambian Under 17 player Nicholas Mulilo.


Zambia landed in trouble moments after their victory over Kenya – who are competing in the competition as a guest team –  on July 22.

Football Kenya Federation CEO, Robert Muthomi, immediately filed a complaint indicating Zambia’s players were over age.

“We were interested in the one (of the players) who scored twice against us (Nicholas Mulilo). Details on his Facebook page indicate he finished (high) school in 2013 and has been operating that social media account since then. These numbers just don’t add up for a 16-year-old,” FKF Communications Manager, Barry Otieno, told Nairobi News.

Interestingly, both Kenya and Zambia had conducted MRI scans for its players ahead of this competition to verify their ages.

The tests found 14 players – eight from Kenya and six from Zambia to be overage. The players were subsequently dropped.