With a few days to the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) kickoff, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has reinstated Equatorial Guinea to the competition, after earlier suspending the West African nation upon a successful appeal by Kenya.
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Kenya appealed to CAF contesting the fielding of Equatorial Guinea player Annette Jacky Messomo, who has Cameroonian roots and didn't have any proof of nationality for Equatorial Guinea, which led to the team been banned from participating in the tournament with Kenya handed the ticket.
All that would change though, after the CAF Appeals Board apparently received an appeal from Equatorial Guinea, deliberated over the same on Wednesday 7 November and overturned the earlier decision to suspend the country, all at the expense of Kenya's Harambee Stars, who had already commenced residential training.
“On November 7, 2018, the Appeal Board of Confédération Africaine de Football held a meeting in order to decide on the appeal of the Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol of the decision of the Disciplinary Council of September 8, 2018.
“Regarding the eligibility protest against player Annette Jacky Messomo during the match no. 30 Equatorial Guinea vs Kenya played in the frame of the Total African Women’s Cup of Nations 2018, the Appeal Board decided as follows:
1. The appeal lodged by the Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol is admissible;
2. The decision no 001-CAI-08.09.2018 is overruled;
3. The player Annette Jacky Messomo is eligible to play for the National Team of Equatorial Guinea;
4. The National Team of Equatorial Guinea is reintegrated in the Total African Women's Cup of Nations 2018.”
Harambee Starlets' preparations for the tournament have already seen the team play a friendly match with Ghana on Wednesday 7 November, which ended in a 1-1 draw.