Syria accused of fielding overage players

November 13, 2012

The Asian Football Confederation has launched an investigation into allegations that Syria fielded overage players in its 5-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the under 19 championship.

A spokesman for the AFC said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia filed a complaint after its opening loss to Syria on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates.

The complaint is being investigated by the AFC disciplinary committee and, if found to be true, would result in the team from war-torn Syria being expelled from the tournament and any of its victories nullified.

Syria has a history of fielding overage players in AFC tournaments. It was expelled along with Yemen two years ago from qualification for the under-16 championship after random MRI tests determined both teams were fielding overage players.

Australia drew with Syria 1-1 in their group match and would progress to the next stage if Syria was expelled.

The Young Socceroos are on four points from two games, along with the Syrians.

With two teams from the group to progress Australia would only need a draw in their final game against the Saudis regardless.