Sao Tome and Principe has been restored into Group A of the qualifying series for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Appeals Board threw out Mauritius from the pool following the successful appeal of the former.
Mauritius had protested to CAF that São Tomé and Príncipe player, Luis Leal Dos Anjos did not undergo the obligatory PCR test during their match on 24th March 2022 in the frame of the AFCON 2023 qualifiers, but the Appeal Board ruled that “given that neither the CAF Disciplinary Code nor CAF’s COVID-19 protocols provide any sanctions for missing an obligatory PCR test, it is legally baseless to consider the player in question to be ineligible.”
Super Eagles head coach of Nigeria, Jose Santos Peseiro, woke up to the news in New Jersey, where the Super Eagles play Ecuador in a friendly match on Thursday said: “We are focused on the friendly game with Ecuador. It is neither here nor there. We play whoever is in front of us.”
The latest decision means the NFF’s plans for the away match on 13th June, after the game against Sierra Leone in Abuja on 9th June, have now been diverted from Mauritius Marrakech as São Tomé and Príncipe do not have an approved playing field in their country and play their home matches in the dainty Moroccan city.