Mali accused of age cheating after 5-1 win against Iraq

The head coach of Iraq has alleged that his side played against a Mali team who were U-23 players.

The African champion managed to hit five balls past the Asian champions, with the latter just hitting one back.

However, the coach of Iraq thinks his side were not fairly beaten by the Malians.

''We knew that Mali had very good players. But sometimes it’s unfair especially when it comes to the physicality of the players. There is a big difference between the African teams and others.

''They sometimes look like they are the U-23 team and not the U-17. It’s quite visible in the way they play, the way they shoot and their ability. You can't compare (them) with U-17,'' said Al-Rubaye.

Under the tournament guidelines, it states that any protest regarding the eligibility of the nominated players shall be submitted to the FIFA headquarters in India within five days of the third place play-off.

''We are not going to complain or anything. Football is about fairness and fair play. This is a good experience for our players. But you saw the abilities of their players and you are the judges,'' Al-Rubaye stated before exiting the podium.


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