We Need To Investigate Malians, They Used Over Age Players - Dept. Sports Mins. Alleges

The government official claims Mali fielded over-age players to defeat the Black Starlets at the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.

Ghana deputy minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide, has launched a scathing attack at Mali insisting that they fielded overage players en route to their 1-0 victory over Ghana at the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Gabon on Sunday.

A first-half goal from Momadou Samake was enough to help Mali successfully defend the title they won in 2015, dashing Ghana's hope of ending a 18-year run without a trophy in the tournament.

"There were several mistakes from the team that led to the defeat but the senior coaches would have to meet and deliberate on it because what I may terminate as the cause may probably not be the case," Hadzide told Berekum-based Chris FM.

"However, I realised that Mali used a lot of strength in the final to bully the Black Starlets and at a point, I was asking myself if their players were really seventeen years or below. This is because their stature and how they were bullying the Ghanaians was surprising. The final game can be likened to the battle between David and Goliath, so we will definitely do something about it," he said.

He added: "We need to seriously investigate Mali because one of their defenders that I greeted after the game almost looked much older than me. He doesn't look like a youngster but they claim he is 17, therefore there is a need to investigate since at least if two players looked like men they will be found guilty."

Ghana, Mali, Guinea and Niger will represent Africa at the U-17 World Cup in India next October.

The Black Starlets are expected to arrive in Ghana on Tuesday and have been scheduled to meet delegates from government and the Ghana Football Association.