Sierra Leone axed from AFCON, Ghana qualify
Posted: 3 December 2018 Time: 12:47 pm
Sierra Leone has been disqualified from the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers, handing Ghana a placement at next year’s continental showpiece.
CAF made the announcement on Monday following a meeting on Friday, where it was decided the country will be disqualified following its suspension from FIFA.
FIFA suspended the African country last month, citing government interference in the running of the country's football association after Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission (ACC) banned two leading SLFA officials from the organisation’s offices.
This led to the cancellation of the country’s AFCON qualifiers thereafter, with CAF now deciding to boot them out of Group F.
“The CAF Executive Committee at its meeting on Friday, 30 November 2018 in Accra decided on the case of Sierra Leone in the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers,” read a statement by CAF.
“Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled.”
The country’s 2-1 win over group leaders Kenya, as well as their previous 1-0 loss to Ethiopia, now becomes null-and-void, leaving Kenya at the summit of the table with seven points, with Ghana one point behind on six.
Bottom-placed Ethiopia now have just one point, and with one fixture remaining between the Kenyans and the Black Stars in March, it means both those countries have automatically qualified for next year’s tournament.
Following FIFA’s initial suspension, the Sierra Leone officials denied any wrongdoing, with FIFA making it clear what their stance is, and what terms need to be met before lifting the suspension.
"The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised leadership have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again," FIFA said in a statement.