ICYMI: Sao Tome reinstated in Afcon Qualifiers just over a week before Nigeria game

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The Confederation of African Football has reinstated Sao Tome and Principe in the 2023 Afcon Qualifiers after a successful appeal.

The Atlantic Ocean Islanders were disqualified from competition and replaced by Mauritius after the latter claimed Bolivia-based forward Luis Leal submitted an out-of-date PCR test and was not eligible to play in their preliminary round qualifier.

Leal featured in the tie and scored two goals to help Sao Tome progress to the first round.

CAF has overturned its earlier ruling and the result in the preliminary round qualifier will stand.

Sao Tome will face Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria on June 9 and 13 in Group A of the qualifiers.

The continental body said in a statement: “São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association took the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board (08 May 2022) to overturn the results of their match against Mauritius in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifiers played on 24 March 2022 on review with the CAF Appeals Board.

“After hearing both parties’ presentations, the CAF Appeals Board ruled that… The Appeal of the São Tomé and Príncipe Football Association is upheld and the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board is set aside in its entirety.”