November 15, 2009

Age scandal: Blatter gives Nigeria clean bill

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has queried the timing of the revelations of age fraud levelled against Nigeria Under-17 captain Fortune Chukwudi.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Blatter said as far as FIFA are concerned, all the players are within the age limit.
“We have a reliable medical team and together we are happy with the work they are doing so far.

“The tournament will do well without many people making Africa or Nigeria look bad because of rumours over age cheat. Why only Nigeria and not the other countries.

“As far as we are concerned at FIFA, all the players are within the age bracket. FIFA is supposed to trust its member associations and also help them overcome problems, including age cheating.

“I wonder why this case is coming now,” Blatter said.Organisational lapses have plagued the three-week tournament, but Blatter said FIFA was satisfied with job done by Nigeria.

“It is a success for Africa that Egypt hosted a successful Under-20 and now Nigeria with an Under-17 success too. It is not about me, FIFA is not Sepp Blatter, I am one individual and together I think FIFA is happy for Nigeria’s success and we hope Africa will also leave an everlasting legacy after South Africa 2010.

“The youth here will be happy because it is their event and the fact that some favourites are gone now is an indication that the development FIFA wanted is happening.”