ZIMBABWE has been given a chance to participate in the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers despite the country’s suspension by world governing body Fifa after it was included in next week’s draw for the competition’s qualifiers.
Zimbabwe and Kenya’s participation in the draw which will be held in Johannesburg on April 19 was in doubt after they were barred from participating in international football due to government interference in internal matters of the respective FAs
However, they have been given a glimmer of hope after Caf set tough conditions for their participation in the qualifiers instead of excluding the two nations entirely.
“Reference to the suspension of Zimbabwe and Kenya by Fifa from all football activities, in case the suspension is not lifted two weeks before their first matchday of their qualifiers; both associations will be considered as losers and eliminated from the competition,” Caf said in a statement announcing the draw procedure for the upcoming qualifiers.
“Consequently, their groups will be composed of three teams. The first and the runners-up from those groups will qualify for the final tournament.
“Consequently, the two teams [Kenya and Zimbabwe] cannot be drawn in the same group in order to avoid having one group with two teams in case suspension for both associations is not limited.”
Zimbabwe was recently suspended by following the decision by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC)’s decision to suspend the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board due to a litany of allegations.
Fifa wants an assurance from Kamambo that they are in charge of the local football mother body building before the suspension slapped on the country is considered for lifting.
Furthermore, Fifa wants the SRC to withdraw its criminal case against Kamambo and three other Zifa executive committee members and also reverse the appointment of the restructuring committee.
For the Afcon 2023 draw procedure, Zimbabwe are in pot three while Kenya are in pot two.