The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has disqualified Equatorial Guinea from the forthcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018.
Kenya initially protested against six players fielded by Equatorial Guinea after their 3-2 aggregate loss in the final round of the qualifiers to the 11th edition of the flagship women’s championship but saw it dismissed.
The Kenyan Federation further lodged an appeal but this time narrowed it on one player.
“On the June 9, 2018, Kenya submitted an official protest before Match no. 30, Equatorial Guinea vs. Kenya which was played in the frame of Women’s Africa Cup of Nations-Ghana 2018.
“In their initial letter, Kenya was protesting the eligibility of 6 players, however, they only maintained their protest regarding one player: Anette Jacky Messomo. The player in question was allegedly of Cameroonian nationality and had played for several European based clubs,” read part of a Caf Disciplinary Board decision.
Aside forfeiting the 2018 Women’s Afcon, Equatorial Guinea have also been slapped with a fine.
“Considering Caf Statutes; Caf Regulations, in particular the Regulations of the Women Afcon 2018; and the Caf Disciplinary Code, the Disciplinary Board decides that Kenya’s protest is upheld; A sanction of 10, 0000 USD (Ten Thousand Dollars) is imposed on the Equatorial Guinea FA; and Equatorial Guinea’s Team is disqualified from the TOTAL African Women’s Cup of Nations 2018,” it added.
Reacting to the news, FKF president Nick Mwendwa said: “We are very excited with the ruling and that means we might take two teams to AFCON. This is a culmination of the great work we have been doing for the last three years. If the girls finish in the top three, they will qualify for the World Cup in France next year.”
Equatorial Guinea have now been disqualified from two successive Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. They missed the last edition in Cameroon two years ago over the eligibility of player Camila Nobre do Carmo Oliviera
Kenya’s Harambee Starlets will also be making a second appearance at the Women’s Afcon.
Ghana 2018 will take place from November 17 to December 1.