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2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

CAF Cancels Sierra Leone’s back-to-back AFCON Qualifiers Against Ghana

CAF cancels Sierra Leone’s 2019 AFCON qualifier against Ghana after their FIFA suspension.

Africa’s football governing body CAF has canceled Sierra Leone’s back-to-back AFCON qualifiers against Ghana after the SLFA failed to meet the demands stipulated by CAF to spare them an international ban.

Earlier this week, FIFA suspended Sierra Leone from international football after the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) barred two leading SFLA officials from their offices.

The ACC claimed that both FA president Isha Johansen and General secretary Christopher Kamara were facing corruption charges and Sierra Leonean law deems that the two should vacate their office premises.

FIFA, which strongly reprimands government intervention, stepped in, warning the Sierra Leone government that their team would face a lengthy international ban if they didn’t stop interfering with the country’s football activities.

They banned Sierra Leone from all football-related activities, promising the suspension would only be lifted “once the SFLA and its recognized leadership confirmed to FIFA that their premises, accounts, and communication channels were under their control again.”

In an official statement from CAF president Ahmed Ahmed, the football governing body confirmed the two matches have been canceled because ‘FIFA’s basic demand to re-instate SLFA leadership’ was not met.

“AFCON Qualifier matches Ghana vs Sierra Leone & Sierra Leone vs Ghana on 11th and 14th October have been canceled as the SLFA didn’t meet the conditions stipulated in the letter sent by CAF on FIFA’s decision to suspend the federation,” their official Twitter account revealed.

SLFA president Isha Johansen tried writing to FIFA asking them to be allowed to honor Thursday’s game while undertaking “processes to resolve the current impasse.”

FIFA, however, rejected the proposal issuing an ultimatum that the directive should be met by 18:00 on 9th October 2018 or they forfeit their games.

While the government continuously claimed they have nothing to do with the ACC’s actions, FIFA outlaws ‘undue influence from any third party’.

It’s not yet clear whether the suspension means an automatic disqualification from the 2019 AFCON qualifiers or what effects the ban will have on the other teams in the group.

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