Kurt Okraku explains why Black Maidens were banned for age-cheating


President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kurt Okraku has provided clarification on why the responsibility cannot be solely attributed to his administration regarding the regrettable event of a two-year ban slapped on Ghana’s female U-17 team, the Black Maidens, due to age cheating claims.

After Morocco made a protest alleging age discrepancies, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) prohibited Ghana from competing in two editions of the U17 Women’s World Cup African qualifications in 2022.

Morocco complained to CAF that some players were over the age of 17, rendering them illegal to compete in the opening leg of the World Cup qualifier in May. Despite the Black Maidens’ 2-0 win, the claims drove CAF’s decision.


“The truth of the matter is that the Football Association doesn’t own players. The players are owed by clubs. The clubs are responsible for the registration of their players.

“What the Football Association does is to just rely on players that have been registered by the clubs to represent Ghana and therefore when you have such a challenge, it is very difficult to control,” he told Supersports.

He added that the Football Association had put measures in place while putting other stakeholders on their toes through sensitization to avoid being penalised for similar offences in the future.

“But having said that I think education is key and beyond that happening we have taken turns to educate club owners to educate the players themselves and all the key participants in the field of sports to be extra vigilant and to be attentive to details when they are submitted for the registration of players at the club level. And to ensure that we have at the national level the right levels of data to rely on,” he added.

Ghana’s participation in the U17 Female World Cup qualifications would be halted as a result of the enforced suspension until 2027. This implies that the Ghanaian squad will be unable to compete in any qualifying matches during the period of the ban.


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