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Zanzibar suspended from all CECAFA activities

Zanzibar players line up before a match at the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16- The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) has suspended Zanzibar from all activities in the region until they pay a fine of Sh1.5mn for fielding overage players at the ongoing CECAFA Under-17 Championship in Burundi.

Zanzibar was found to have fielded 12 overage players for their opening match against Sudan on Sunday with the game having failed to take off due to the protest.

A sitting by the organizing committee chaired by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) deputy president Doris Petra made the decision.

“Zanzibar be expelled from the 2018 CECAFA U17 Championship forthwith. (Return home with first available flight). Fined a total of USD 15,000 as an approximate cost of air tickets, accommodation and meals during their stay in Burundi. This is a refund to FIFA the official tournament sponsors,” CECAFA said in a statement on Monday.

At the same time, three over-age Ethiopian players have been expelled from the tournament with the team also forfeiting their win over Somalia on Sunday on 3-0 basis, having won the match on the pitch 3-1.

The Ethiopian Football Federation has also been fined USD 5,000 as an approximate cost on air tickets, accommodation and meals during their time spent in Burundi.

According to the rules, only players born after 2002 are allowed to participate.

Ethiopia are scheduled to play Kenya in their next match on Tuesday, the Kenyans having started their campaign on a good footing with a 4-1 win over hosts Burundi on Saturday.