Overage claim: Amir plans to speak to FIFA about his fears.

Overage claim: Amir plans to speak to FIFA about his fears.

UAE coach Rashed Amir reacted to his side’s 6-1 defeat to Brazil on Sunday night with an astonishing accusation, claiming that “70 per cent” of the players in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup are overage.

The coach launched into a broadside in the post-match press conference, blaming the game's governing body for allowing players exceeding the age limit into the tournament, hindering the chances of his team.

Amir refused to name names and made it clear he wasn’t talking about Brazil or any other team specifically but did say that he will be lodging a complaint to FIFA.

On the eve of the tournament, FIFA said they planned to tackle the problem by undertaking MRI wrist scans randomly on four players from each team before the tournament. The world governing body claimed to have completed all their tests by October 16, the day before the World Cup kicked off.

Whether Amir’s outburst was provoked simply by the defeat and where he plucked 70 per cent from is unknown, but his accusations will no doubt be taken seriously by FIFA.

“At least 70 per cent of the players we have seen here, I think, are over 17,” said the UAE coach. “We are a young team and only four players have experience of playing in other youth competitions.

“We are preparing for the Asian Under-19s Cup next year so we are getting experience for the players. I will be sending a memorandum to FIFA, who I blame for the existence of overage players.”

Brazil coach Alexandre Gallo, formerly of UAE champions Al Ain, moved to distance himself from the remarks, saying: “We don’t have any overage players, we pay so much attention to that. In Brazil, the clubs and the FA pay a lot of attention to that. And another thing is that we have 14 players who play for professional first teams so this generation just has a lot of talent.”

Amir’s side were dealt a heavy blow to their chances of qualifying for the next round as one of the four best third-placed teams. A win against Slovakia is needed on Wednesday while a series of results have to go their way in other groups.

Despite facing near-impossible odds of qualifying, Amir said: “We have our future strategy, we are preparing the team to play in the U19s next year, this is about developing players for the future, not necessarily winning now.”