FIFA to use high-tech wrist bands to beat 'age-cheats'

PARIS: FIFA plan to introduce high-tech wrist bands at this year's Under-17 world championship in Finland in a bid to stop 'age-cheats' in youth tournaments. 

FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a news conference on Saturday that the metallic reactive wrist bands will be used at this August's tournament in Finland on an introductory basis with only three players from each team taking part. 

“We will run this as a trial in the hope that we can bring an end to age-cheating,” Blatter said after the 24-man Executive Committee of world soccer's governing body voted for the scheme. 

Blatter said the executive had also supported a new regulation for players of dual nationality up to age 21. 

A new rule was approved saying: “Up to his 21st birthday, a player may only once request to change the association for which he is eligible to play international matches.” 

It means a player who has dual nationality when he makes his first international appearance in an official competition for any age group can change to another nation before he is 21. 

In a statement released after the executive committee meeting, FIFA said players will be banned from taking off their shirts during goal celebrations. The rule is “in the interests of maintaining discipline and order on the field of play”. 

Blatter also repeated his criticism of Spain's federation for permitting the extension of the league season into June when it clashed with the Confederations Cup. Spain's Kings Cup final this weekend clashes with the Confederations Cup final. – Reuters 

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