AFCON 2023 qualification: Super Eagles will now play in São Tomé

Sao Tome and Principe has been reinstated in Group A of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final qualifying series after the CAF Appeals Committee expelled Mauritius of the hen following the successful call of the first.

São Tomé and Príncipe had won on the pitch while Maurice won his case before the disciplinary board against the former for fielding a player who tested positive for COVID-19, but the appeals board has now reinstated São Tomé and Príncipe in the race and expelled Maurice.

Mauritius had protested to CAF that São Tomé and Príncipe player Luis Leal Dos Anjos had not undergone the mandatory PCR test during their match on March 24, 2022 as part of the CAN 2023 qualifiers, but the appeal committee ruled that “given that neither the CAF Disciplinary Code nor the CAF COVID-19 protocols provide for sanctions in the event of failure to pass a mandatory PCR test, it is legally unfounded to consider the player in question as ineligible.

The Super Eagles are currently in New Jersey and are set to face Ecuador in a friendly game on Thursday.

Nigeria head coach Jose Santos Peseiro while responding to the news said, “We are focused on the friendly against Ecuador. It is neither here nor there. We play against whoever is in front of us.

The latest decision means the NFF’s plans for the away game on June 13, following the game against Sierra Leone in Abuja on June 9, are now diverted from east (Mauritius) to west (Marrakech ), as São Tomé and Príncipe do not have an approved playing field in their country and play their home games in the tricky Moroccan city.

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