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Eritrea Withdraw From AFCON Qualifiers

Eritrea has withdrawn from the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers citing financial constraints as their reason for pulling out, according to reports.

The Red Sea Camels were set to take Botswana in a two-legged preliminary round of Afcon qualifiers with the aggregate winner joining the 42 highest ranked teams into the Group Stage of the qualifiers.

A source at Eritrea Football Association disclosed on Thursday that a letter has been sent to the General Secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with the East African country citing financial constraints as the reason for their decision to withdraw.

If the match will be cancelled, Botswana will become the first team out the 12 teams that are involved in preliminary stage to make to the group stages.

Eritrea’s withdrawal from Nations Cup is expected to attract a hefty fine from the CAF but the source added it would be better to pay the fine than remain in competitions which the country cannot afford.

The Eritrean FA decision comes a day after CAF confirmed that the nation has withdrawn from U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

Eritrea was meant to face Cameroon in the second round with the winner making next round, before the final phase which will see three teams qualify from Africa to play at the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India.

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