Zimbabwe and Kenya have been disqualified from participating in the 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations (Afcon) tournament.
This was confirmed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) through an official statement shared on Monday.
Both teams were suspended from all football activities by the international football governing board FIFA, but CAF had included them in the draw with a provision that they put their houses in order two weeks before the commencement of Afcon qualifiers.
Here is the full statement from CAF confirming the development:
As a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by FIFA set aside, CAF has confirmed that both Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers.
The qualifiers will kick off on the first day of June 2022.
CAF had included them in the official draw earlier in April 2022 on condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match day.
Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the FIFA Congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension. As a result: Because of the suspension, the following will apply:
The two associations, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) will be considered losers and eliminated from the competition.
Groups C and K will be composed only of three teams, and the order of the matches will be maintained in accordance with the match schedule that has been communicated to the teams after the draw.
The first and runner-up teams of those groups will qualify for the final tournament.
FIFA banned Zimbabwe from participating in international football activities and playing friendly matches with any FIFA affiliate due to Sports Recreation Commission(SRC) interference in football matters.
FIFA insisted that SRC should reinstate the Felton Kamambo-led board to lift the suspension, but SRC remained unmoved, costing the Zimbabwe Warriors’ participation in next year’s Afcon.