Hayatou please come back – all is forgiven
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been under siege from their critics during the last couple of weeks as they astonishingly hobble from one blunder to another on an almost daily basis.
Equatorial Guinea flaunted all the rules governing fair play in football with impunity, cheating, falsifying documents and fraudulently issuing passports to women players from foreign countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, Brazil, Portugal and Spain, instantly turning them into Equatorial Guineans.
At one stage, both Nigeria and Ghana Football Federations charged that Equatorial Guinea had fielded boys in their women team and claimed to have proof to that effect, but the spineless CAF simply looked the other way and pretended they did not receive protests from the two aggrieved powerful West African countries.
It was only when South Africa lodged a complaint during the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifiers, providing FIFA with documentary proof about some of the cheats in the Equatorial Guinea team, that FIFA launched an intensive investigation.
FIFA did what CAF was supposed to have done eons ago and discovered that Equatorial Guinea had indeed illegally fielded 10 foreign women players that did not have any affinity whatsoever with the country as they were neither born nor resided in the country as required by the rules and instantly and rightfully banned them from taking part in both the 2020 Japan Olympic Games and 2019 World Cup in France.
CAF sheepishly grinned, shamefully buried their heads in the sand and wished this embarrassing scandal to go away. Perhaps it could have “gone away” if CAF had not displayed a deeply prejudicial and dangerously partisan tendencies towards Equatorial Guinea.
Equatorial Guinea defeated the Kenya ladies 3-2 on aggregate in final qualifications for the African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) tournament scheduled to get underway in Ghanaian cities of Gold Coast and Accra on Saturday November 17.
But the Kenyan women lodged a protest with CAF claiming that serial cheats Equatorial Guinea had not learned their lesson and had incredulously fielded a Cameroonian girl – Annette Jacky Messomo – when they eliminated the Harambee starlets.
The CAF Disciplinary Committee investigated and after satisfying themselves that Messomo was indeed Cameroonian and had illegally played for the Equatorial Guineans, rightfully booted them out of the African Women Cup of Nations.
This week however, CAF shamelessly reversed their own decision and yanked Kenya out of the AWCON and, wait for it, REINSTATED fraudsters Equatorial Guinea because in their prejudiced and jaundiced view, a lady (Messomo) they initially deemed to have been ineligible to play for Equatorial Guinea, had overnight become legible.
How is that possible? And why did the earlier verdict proclaim that she was ineligible to have featured for Equatorial Guinea? How has her status changed overnight? Has Equatorial Guinea influenced CAF to overturn the earlier verdict?
We all know that the top three teams in the AWCON will qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France, except of course the clueless CAF who are unaware that even if Equatorial Guinea finish among the top three, they will NOT be allowed to take part in the World Cup in France because they are banned by FIFA!
Why is CAF unaware of this vital information that is general knowledge to everybody that follows the game across the continent? Why exactly is CAF pandering to the whims of Equatorial Guinea? Is this the new dawn promised by the election of Ahmad Ahmad in Addis Ababa?
Grandpa Issa Hayatou please come back, we need you, all is forgiven!