by Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam, AIPS Young Reporter, Nigeria
PORT HARCOURT, November 8, 2018 – Equatorial Guinea have been readmitted to this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana after winning an appeal against the decision that had dismissed them last month.
This is the outcome of a meeting convened by the Appeal Board of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday, 7th November – barely 10 days to the start of the tournament.
CAF’s Disciplinary Council had on 8 September sanctioned Equatorial Guinea for fielding an ineligible player in their final round qualification tie against Kenya. The decision was made public in October.
The Harambee Starlets then replaced the two-time champions in the eight-team line-up for Ghana 2018 and were drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
However, the reinstatement of Equatorial Guinea means Kenya will no longer participate in the tournament, with this news coming only hours after they had just played out a 1-1 draw against Ghana in a build-up match.
The decision by the Appeal Board “regarding the eligibility protest against player Annette Jacky Messomo during the match no. 30 Equatorial Guinea vs Kenya played in the frame of the Total African Women’s Cup of Nations 2018” is as follows:
- The appeal lodged by the Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol is admissible;
- The decision no 001-CAI-08.09.2018 is overruled;
- The player Annette Jacky Messomo is eligible to play for the National Team of Equatorial Guinea;
- The National Team of Equatorial Guinea is reintegrated in the Total African Women’s Cup of Nations 2018.
The 11th Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018 will also serve as qualification to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. But Equatorial Guinea have been banned from the global showpiece which will be staged in France, hence they cannot qualify.