2018 AFCON Women's Build Up: Kenya out of Women’s AFCON; Nigeria and South Africa name squads
AFCON 2018 latest developments; Equatorial Guinea joins Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Mali, Algeria, Cameroon and South Africa as Kenya makes an humiliating exit from Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. CAF has overturned a decision to ban Equatorial Guinea from the competition after Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol appealed the October 2018 ban imposed by CAF’s Disciplinary Council for allegedly fielding an ineligible player for a second leg tie of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. CAF announced in a statement that an enquiry into the case of Annette Jacky Messomo who had been previously deemed to be ineligible to play for Nzalang Nacional because the footballer was a Cameroonian, had led to the decision to reinstate Equatorial Guinea.
Equatorial Guinea have won the tournament twice in the past and once finished as runners up to Nigeria. In 2016, Nzalang Nacional was also banned after it was discovered that they fielded ineligible players against Mali in the qualifiers. Accusations of an identical offense in this year’s qualifiers against Kenya brought a fresh ban that saw them disqualified from the tournament. The Harambe Queens of Kenya had taken the remainder of the eight spots after the exit of Equatorial Guinea. Now that the decision has been overturned, Equatorial Guinea will replace Kenya in Group B where they will face Zambia in their first match on the 18th of November.
Meanwhile, Group B rivals South Africa and Nigeria have announced their 21 women squads that will be in Ghana. The Super Eagles who are now in training camp in Ivory Coast have announced a squad that consists of 13 overseas players including star player Asisat Oshoala, who is currently with Dalian Quanjian F.C. in the Chinese Women’s Super League and Desire Oparanozie who plays for French side En Avant de Guingamp. South Africa are set to face hosts Ghana in a friendly at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium this Sunday in Accra .
Equatorial Guinea will face tough challenges from Nigeria and South Africa in the group stages. After a rocky start, they now have a chance to play for the championship title and for a third place qualifying finish for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.