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(Reuters) - Kenya have been thrown out of the under-20 World Cup qualifying competition for the 2017 finals in South Korea for fielding five over age players, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Wednesday.
The east African country has been disqualified for using the ineligible players in the first leg of a qualifier for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, which also serves as the World Cup qualifying tournament, against Sudan on April 3 which ended 1-1.
Kenya were due to host the return leg this weekend but CAF has instead awarded Sudan a place in the next round of the competition for places at the 2017 finals in Zambia.
African soccer's governing body said Kenya's Theodore Kibet, Nicholas Kipkirui, Eugene Moses, Boniface Muchiri and Erick Ouma were all born before the cut off date of Jan. 1, 1997. “Football Kenya Federation clearly violated the competition regulations and is consequently disqualified and the U-20 Sudan team is qualified to the next round,” CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani said in a letter sent to the Kenyans.
Age cheating is notorious in African soccer but offending soccer associations are rarely caught or punished.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Johannesburg; Editing by Ken Ferris