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Eight teams debarred from FIFA festival

December 22, 2006 17:06 IST

Bengal is one of the eight teams debarred from FIFA'S Boys (U-13) Football Festival for fielding over-aged players in the team.

For the festival starting in Chennai on Saturday, teams from Jharkhand (three players), Jammu and Kashmir (four), Orissa (six), Rajasthan (six), Mizoram (nine), Bengal (four), Punjab (four) and Uttar Pradesh (three) were sent back.

The amount of Rs 25,000 for participation, train fare and food allowances have also been withdrawn, Shaji Prabhakaran, Director Vision India, a Development Project of the AFC, said.

The AIFF has failed to stop the menace of over-aged players competing in such important events, that are used to spot talents for training and competition abroad.

In the inaugural edition in 2004 at Kolkata and in Chandigarh last year, four (Uttaranchal, Manipur, Jharkhand and J and K) and three (J and K, Assam and Bihar) teams respectively were not allowed to compete for the same reasons.

"Several of the players are overaged and the respective state associations have to be proactive.We are taking strict measures in dealing with such cases and then progressively this problem will be eradicated," Shaji, in-charge of AIFF's Grassroots and Youth programmes, said.

"We are making a database as per the guidelines of AFC, under whose rules the Festival is being held. A team of 14 boys to be selected from this festival will compete in the AFC Under-13 tournament in Bangladesh from May 1 to 8," he said.

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