By Ronald Mpaso:
Malawi national football team’s opponents in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Comoros Islands, have lodged a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) over Cameroon’s participation at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
According to an online report on bbc.com, a post on social media from the general manager of the Comoros team, Ben Amir Saadi, confirmed the move.
The report states that Comoros believe Cameroon should be excluded from the 2019 finals after having the hosting rights for the tournament withdrawn from them.
Comoros are in the same qualifying group as Cameroon, whom they face in March as Malawi take on Morocco at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
“The Comoros Football Federation (FFC) claims that Caf [Confederation of African Football] has failed to implement its own regulations concerning the action to be taken. Caf rules (Article 92.3) state that if a nation withdraws from hosting or has the rights taken away one year before the finals, ‘a fine of five hundred thousand (500,000) US dollars and a suspension of the next edition of Afcon of it’s A national team, without considering the concerned edition,” reads part of the report.Advertisement
However, the report notes that the latter words would suggest that Cameroon’s participation in the 2019 finals should not be affected.
But it remains to be seen how the FFC’s claim will impact, if at all, upon Cameroon’s hosting of the 2021 Nations Cup, which it is now set to stage.
“As things stand, the Nations Cup qualifier in March between Cameroon and the Comoros will decide who joins already-qualified Morocco in reaching the finals in Egypt, with the fourth team in Group B— Malawi—no longer able to go through.
“With Morocco on 10 points, Cameroon 8 and the Comoros 5, a draw in Cameroon will be enough for the Indomitable Lions to advance—while the Comoros must win to advance,” concludes the report.
The Flames are out of contention after registering just one win and a draw in the qualifiers to remain rooted to the bottom of the table with 4 points.
Both Cameroon and Comoros collected full points against Malawi in their home matches, with the Flames drawing and winning the reverse fixtures, respectively.
Malawi are set to conclude non-residential physical fitness exercises tomorrow in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre in preparation for the dead rubber Morocco encounter.
Coach Ronny van Geneugden said it was important for the players to start preparing with fitness exercises as they are currently on an off season break.
Full campaign is expected to commence next month.
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