Pirates to probe age fraud
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates have suspended their youth development programme to investigate age cheating.
Pirates, treble trophy winners for the last two Premier Soccer League seasons, said in a statement on Thursday the club had "learned recently" of instances of cheating within its ranks.
"It appears to be of a magnitude that calls for an immediate, and extensive, investigation," the statement read.
The club hoped the suspension of the programme would not disrupt the schooling of the youth in its academy, and parents had been advised to make arrangements for their children to return to school nearer their homes. They were also urged to participate in the investigation.
"The full scale investigation that the club is undertaking is as a result of the preliminary investigation that has identified occurrences of age cheating in our academy.
"This is of grave concern to the club as this practice does not only go against the Orlando Pirates Football Club value system, it is first and foremost an illegal act of criminality that goes against the law.
"It is therefore incumbent upon the club to take immediate and drastic action."
The process would start with a "full-scale, far reaching investigation" in an effort to eradicate the problem and put systems in place to avoid cheating in future.