CAF again Decides on Nigeria’s 2023 AFCON qualifiers Opponent

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For the second time in as many months, CAF overturned its own decision on either Sao Tome and Principe or Mauritius getting the final group A spot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

In its latest decision, the Continent’s football governing body re-awarded Sao Tome and Principe with the certificate to compete along side Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau for a place at next year’s tournament.
The CAF Appeals Board received official documents contesting the Body’s decision to award Mauritius participation status over a lingering case of player eligibility during the play-off game between the sides in March.
Excepts from Wednesday’s statement by CAF reads:
*CAF Appeals Board Decision: São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association*
São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association took the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board (08 May 2022) to overturn the results of their match against Mauritius in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifiers played on 24 March 2022 on review with the CAF Appeals Board.
After hearing both parties’ presentations, the CAF Appeals Board ruled that:
– The Appeal of São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association is considered admissible in form.
– The Appeal of the São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association is upheld and the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board is set aside in its entirety.
– The result of match between Mauritius and São Tomé and Príncipe is ratified and validated.
– The São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association shall be reimbursed the Appeal fees.

 

It’ll be recalled the contested case in question is over the eligibility of a Sao Tome and Principe player who featured – and scored the winning goal – in the said play-off match despite testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The Falcons were initially disqualified after captain Luis Leal failed to provide a valid Covid-19 test result before their preliminary round clash against the Dodos in March.
Tentatively, Nigeria’s opening 2023 AFCON qualifying matches between Sierra Leone and now Sao Tome are scheduled for June 9th and June 13th respectively.

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