The Super Eagles lost concentration and the 3 points on Friday when Salah silenced 170 million Nigerians with that late equalizer. The attention had shifted to the return leg on Tuesday in Alexandria, Egypt with the Eagles just 2 points behind the Pharaohs.
The AFCON qualifiers is made up of 13 groups. The winners of the 13 groups will join host Gabon in the finals next year. The two best second-placed team will make it a 16 nation tournament. This was another avenue to be in Gabon next year until Chad happened.
The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) was on Sunday, 27 March 2016 informed by the Chadian Football Federation of the withdrawal of its national team from the ongoing qualifiers of the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon 2017
Can you just imagine? It means Gbolohan Salami’s goal is a waste. So also is Odion Ighalo’s goal and assist against the Chadians in Kaduna. Nigeria’s 2-0 victory has been chalked off, just like Egypt’s 5-1 victory in Niamey and Tanzania’s 1-0 victory.
According to CAF’s website, “In conformity with Article 61 of the regulations of the competition which states: “If a team withdraws from the qualifying phase organised in groups, all its results shall be annulled (points, scored and conceded goals)”.
Consequently, the three matches of Chad of Group G are cancelled and the results will not be taken into consideration. Hence, the actual standings of the group will be as follows:
Accordingly, following the decision of CAF Executive Committee dated 15 January 2015, any group reduced to three teams following the withdrawal of a team will have only the group winner qualifying for the final tournament.
Furthermore, the Chadian Football Federation has been fined 20,000 US Dollars and also barred from participating in the next edition of the AFCON in conformity with Article 59 of the regulations of the Competition which states “any association declaring forfeit after the start of the matches is liable to a fine of twenty thousand (20,000) U.S. dollars. It will also not be allowed to participate in the next edition of the AFCON”.”
The above statement from the CAF website indicates that the game in Egypt is a must-win game for Nigeria. Siasia will hope that the three Moses he has in his team will be able to conquer Egypt. The Super Eagles will need to get the 3 points without Wolves gaolie Carl Ikeme as reported by goal.com. I hear it has to do with the stomach. Iwobi comes to mind and Kaduna is put in the spotlight again. Is it about the food in Kaduna or … never mind.
I hear Salah is happy Egypt didn’t get a late winner because of the crowd in the Kaduna stadium. Is he indirectly telling the Super Eagles not to grab a winner in Alexandria to avoid crowd trouble?
It is Easter Monday and a good number of Nigerians are relaxing and getting ready for Tuesday. The results in the NPFL yesterday was sweet for some (Rangers and Rivers) but bitter for others (Ikorodu and Enyimba). While we enjoy the league, it will be great for the relevant authorities to take appropriate decisions with respect to recent happenings in Nnewi and Akure relating assault.
One game without Violence.