Kenya’s Harambee Starlets qualifies for AWCON 2018, after Equatorial Guinea’s ban

Harambee Starlets players at a past assignment (Image Courtesy)
Harambee Starlets players at a past assignment (Image Courtesy)

Kenya’s women soccer team, Harambee Starlets, has qualified for the African Women Cup Of Nations, AWCON, after Equatorial Guinea’s disqualification today. The Federation of Kenyan Football, FKF, successfully appealed against Equatorial Guinea’s use of an ineligible player in a qualifier match where Kenya lost 3-2 on aggregate. Equatorial Guinea fielded a Cameroonian, Anette Jacky Messomo, in the final round of the AWCON 2018 qualifiers. Apart from the disqualification, Equatorial Guinea have also been fined 10,000 US dollars. FKF had filed a complaint over the eligibility of 6 Equatorial Guinea players who played a part in their qualifier against the Harambee Starlets.

A Confederation of African Football, CAF, disciplinary Board sitting at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, found Equatorial Guinea culpable. “Considering CAF statutes; CAF Regulations, in particular the Regulations of the Women AFCON 2018; and the CAF Disciplinary Code, the Disciplinary Board Decides that Kenya’s protest be upheld; a sanction of 10,000 USD is imposed on Equatorial Guinea FA (Football association); and Equatorial Guinea’s Team is Disqualified from the TOTAL African Women’s Cup of Nations, 2018,” read a communique from CAF to the FKF CEO, Robert Muthomi. Muthomi had, in June 9 2018, filed a protest against Equatorial Guinea before Kenya’s game against Equatorial Guinea.

And Equatorial Guines’ problems have been compounded, further. The team has been banned by the Federation of International Football Associations, FIFA, from the  Women’s World Cup to be held in 2019 at France. They will pay a fine if 102, 000 US dollars to FIFA for fielding the ineligible player. They have equally been banned from 2020 Olympics.

The Harambee Starlets will, now, play at the AWCON finals slated for next month, at the Cape Coast in Ghana. This will be the Starlet’s second appearance at the Continental competition that shall be held from November 19 to December 1, 2018. Kenya made her maiden appearance at the finals in 2016.

Meanwhile, two Kenyan soccer referees have been selected to officiate at the AWCON finals in Ghana, this year (See image below):

AWCON Referees, Ghana 2018
AWCON Finals Referees, Ghana 2018

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