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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 16:10 UK

Nigeria players to be age-tested

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Sannie Lulu
Sannie Lulu says that age-group players will undergo tests

Nigerian players taking part in the Under-17 World Cup will be subjected to MRI bone scans to determine their ages.

Accusations of age cheating have blighted Nigeria's success at international age group tournaments in recent years.

But Sani Lulu Abdullahi, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is confident the MRI test will bring to an end such accusations.

"We will use the MRI bone confirmation tests introduced by Fifa," Lulu told BBC Sport on Tuesday.

"This is important as we want to be sure that we do it correctly and that players who represent Nigeria at underage competitions are actually the ages they claim to be."

Nigeria have won the Fifa Under-17 World Cup three times - 1985, 1993 and 2007 - but fans and media alike have long questioned the ages of some of the player representing the country.

The Golden Eaglets, as Nigeria's under-17 team is known, will be playing in their own backyard in October as they this year's World Cup.

Lulu insists the present squad under John Obuh will be the first set of Eaglets to undergo MRI scans.



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see also
Moyes denies Nigeria age insult
24 Feb 08 |  African
Nigeria's Martins in age row
03 Aug 05 |  African
Caf clears Gambia youngsters
02 Oct 08 |  African
Fifa cracks down on age cheats
10 Mar 02 |  Africa


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