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CAMEROON’S 2019 AFCON QUALIFICATION UNDER SERIOUS THREAT

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The Comoros Football Federation (FFC) has lodged a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over Cameroon’s participation at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

A post on social media from the general manager of the Comoros team, Ben Amir Saadi, confirmed the move.

Comoros must beat Cameroon in their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to reach the finals in Egypt

The Comoros believe that Cameroon should be excluded from the 2019 finals after having the hosting rights for the tournament withdrawn from them.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.

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The FFC claims that CAF 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) U.S. dollars and a suspension of the next edition of AFCON of it’s A national team, without considering the concerned edition.’

The latter words would suggest that Cameroon’s participation in the 2019 finals should not be affected.

However, 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 long able to go through.

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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.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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