Laos suspended from youth competitions

September 1, 2006

BANGKOK, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Asian soccer chiefs have suspended Communist Laos from all youth competitions after they fielded a 15-year-old in an under-13s tournament.

Suspicions were raised when Laos named the same player in their squad for the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) U-17 Championship starting in Singapore on Sunday.

The AFC said in a statement on its website that the Southeast Asian country had been 'provisionally suspended' with immediate effect after trying to pass the 15-year-old off as a 12-year-old in a tournament they hosted in April.

The ban is a blow for impoverished Laos, who have experienced most of their limited success in world soccer at youth level having failed to qualify for the World Cup, Asian Games, Asian Cup or Olympics.