Harambee Starlets' dreams of playing in the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) scheduled for Ghana next month have been revived after Caf banned Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.
Starlets had lost to Equatorial Guinea 3-2 on aggregate in the last qualification process, but the team through the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) appealed over the eligibility of six players who played a part in the qualifier.
The decision was communicated by Caf through a letter sent to FKF on Wednesday.
“On the 9th of June 2018, Kenya submitted an official protest before Match no. 30, Equatorial Guinea vs. Kenya which was played in the frame of Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations – Ghana 2018,”
“In their initial letter, Kenya was protesting the eligibility of 6 players, however, they only maintained their protest regarding one player: Anette Jacky Messomo. The player in question was allegedly of Cameroonian nationality and had played for several European based clubs,” read part of the letter sent to FKF General Secretary/CEO Robert Muthomi following a CAF Disciplinary Board hearing at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
“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 is upheld.
A sanction of Sh1million (10,000 USD) is imposed on the Equatorial Guinea FA; and Equatorial Guinea’s Team is disqualified from the TOTAL African Women’s Cup of Nations 2018,” part of the letter noted.
The decision will see Starlets make a second appearance in the competition following their maiden bow in 2016 in Cameroon.