Report: MRI to help confirm ages of football players

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) again plans to use MRI wrist scans to verify the ages of football players in teenage competition.

FIFA now will use the modality to confirm the ages of participants in leagues for under 20-year-olds, according to a 30 December 2018 report in Score Nigeria. The move is designed to crack down on would-be competitors in their 20s or older from fraudulently playing against younger athletes. The latest action follows FIFA's success in using MRI to verify the ages of players in leagues for under 17-year-olds.

The report cited FIFA President Gianni Infantino as saying age cheating is one of the biggest problems confronting football in Africa.

MR images the degree to which a player's wrist bones are fused, thus determining an approximate age. While the scans are not always conclusive, the tests have decreased cheating in Africa, according to Score Nigeria.

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