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Equatorial Guinea Wins Appeal to Participate in 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Equatorial Guinea has won their appeal just days before the start of 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations.

Kenya had replaced Equatorial Guinea for the tournament that is set to kick-off on November 17 to December 1 in Ghana, through a decision made by Disciplinary Council on September 8, which found the Central African nation guilty of fielding an ineligible player in the final round of the qualification.

The decision by Appeals Board was made on Wednesday just hours after Kenya played out a 1-1 draw against Ghana in a build-up match that was played at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

The ruling now means Equatorial Guinea replaces Kenya in Group B and they will battle it out for a place in the semi-finals with Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.

Kenya had protested against the eligibility of Jacky Messomo during their Awcon qualifying match against Equatorial Guinea, stating that she was a Cameroonian national.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”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,”[/perfectpullquote]

Caf said in a statement.

Equatorial Guinea Football Federation (Feguifut) questioned the decision of CAF in a detailed appeal filed a fortnight ago stating that the player was not a Cameroonian as Kenya claimed.

Feguifut explained that Messomo went to Cameroon in 2010, where she obtained another passport, to play in Russia and Serbia, and used that passport and not her Equatoguinean one, which does not mean she is from Cameroon, nor that she had not acquired Equatoguinean nationality.

“We did not falsify any document. The player came to Equatorial Guinea in 2003, and the players’ statutes, the previous one, said that if a player had lived in the country for two years than they could become nationals,” Gustavo Ndong Edu, the Feguifut President stated when reached for a comment.

“The girl played in the Sirenas team in Ebebiyín, and then in Águilas Verdes. She also took part in the CAF qualifiers in 2008, and thus meet the time requirements for nationalisation.

“In addition, we presented a declaration from the mother of Jacky affirming that the father of the girl is an Equatoguinean from Ebebiyín.”

A win or a top three finish for Equatorial Guinea in the continental showpiece would present an interesting scenario as it serves as a qualifier tournament for the World Cup which the central African nation is ineligible.

This is due to October 2017’s FIFA Disciplinary Committee announcement that it had sanctioned Feguifut with expulsion for fielding ineligible players during the preliminary competition of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 and the use of forged and falsified documents by two of its players.

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