2023 AFCON Qualifiers: CAF Kicks Out Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius Complete Group A

2023 AFCON Qualifiers: CAF Kicks Out Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius Complete Group A

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By Amaechi Agbo

The Confederation of Africa Football, CAF have kicked out Sao Tome and Principe from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifying race after the island country of Central Africa were found guilty of fielding an illegible player during the last preliminary match against Mauritius

The Mauritius Football Association lodged a complaint that Sao Tome’s Luis Leal had not followed the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) Covid-19 protocol.

Mauritius claimed the Bolivia-based striker was not eligible to play against them because his PCR test dated more than 72 hours before the match while according to the protocol, the tests must date from 48 hours.

The 34-year-old scored the only goal in the first leg of their play-off but that result was overturned on Sunday by Caf’s disciplinary committee – with Mauritius awarded a 3-0 win instead.

The second leg of the tie, which saw both matches played in Mauritius, ended in a 3-3 draw that originally saw Sao Tome progress 4-3 on aggregate.

The African football governing body accepted
the complaint of the Mauritian side and added both countries to draws in April 19th.

Sao Tomé was found guilty and fined 10,000 dollars as CAF granted a score of 3 to 0 in favour of Mauritius for the first leg against Sao Tomé which saw Mauritius progress to the Group Stage of Qualifiers 6-3 on aggregate.

Mauritius is in group A alongside Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau which will also be the first opponent of the Mauritius team in the coming weeks.

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