August 31 - Bone tests will be performed on soccer players at the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria to catch teams with over-age players, FIFA confirmed today, as first reported on insidethegames.

Football's governing body said that the MRI tests will "protect the integrity of the tournament" and serve "the spirit of fair play."
The decision follows reports from Nigeria that the host nation intended to select older players for the tournament, which opens on October 24.

As insidethegames reported earlier this month, It has been claimed that up to 16 prospective players from Nigeria have already been ruled out of the tournament after bone scans were conducted.

Nigeria, the defending champions, has a tradition of success at international age-group events but has been dogged by rumours of fielding ineligible players.
FIFA said MRI tests on wrist bones have been developed by its medical research centre.
A spokesman for FIFA said: "MRI of the wrist can identify players who are definitely above 17 years.

"It is reliable, evidence-based and safe for the player."
Players from the 24 competing nations - which include Spain, Brazil and the United States -- will be randomly selected for testing.
FIFA said it encouraged the 24 teams to conduct their own tests to ensure all players comply with the age rule.

Tournament regulations state players must be born on or after January 1, 1992. 

But John Obuh, the coach for the Nigeria under-17 team, has already hit back at the accuracy of the MRI test and claimed that his country is being unfairly targeted by FIFA.

Related stories
August 2009:
Row brewing between FIFA and Nigeria over age-tests