11 November 2009

Does cheating pay?

I always questioned why a country would used overage players in youth tournaments. The use of over-age players is immoral and does little to develop football in the country. Well, that's what I thought.

After the dismal results of the current Nepal youth teams in AFC competitions, I now question my firmly held beliefs.

The horrid results have been condemned by fans, media, and the football fraternity alike. It has probably produced the greatest amount of collective venom ANFA has received recently.

But where was the outrage when Nepal blatantly used overage players (and no matter how much ANFA might try to deny it, the fact is they knowingly did) to advance to the AFC Under 16 finals in the past? On the contrary everyone celebrated the accomplishment like a Diwali night and was more than happy to look the other way on the over-age issue.

Let's face it, ANFA does not currently have the will to develop a formidable youth development plan. Knowing they cannot produce great teams through a well constructed youth system the choices left are either to use over-age players and do well or be honest and get beaten like hand-washed laundry. Why should anyone then subject themselves to scorn by playing fair?