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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Syria accused of fielding over-age players

The Asian Football Confederation has launched an investigation into allegations that Syria fielded over-age players in their 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 their 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 their victories nullified.

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

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

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