The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has said that it will appeal CAF’s decision to reschedule the African Nations Cup (AFCON) qualifier match between Sierra Leone and Benin, without stating any reason or guideline for their decision.
Though the Organizing Committee of African Cup of Nations has rescheduled the decisive qualifier match, deliberately abandoned by Benin, to June this year, no reason was stated nor was a statutory provision quoted.
Hence, the country’s football governing body has in a press release on 30th March, 2021, said they will appeal CAF’s decision in line with the appropriate statutory provisions, since their decision is not supported by AFCON‘s regulations, which adequately address issues of such nature.
SLAF’s arguments according to the release, is that CAF did not take into cognizance Articles 83, 84 and 85 of AFCON Regulations that adequately address issues around failure to report for a match and/or refusal to play, of which there had been several precedents.
On Tuesday 30th March, the Squirrels of Benin intentionally abandoned the decisive qualifier against the host country, Leone Stars, after five of their players, whom they referred to as key in the squad tested positive of Covid-19.
Following the news, the visiting team refused to play, despite several hours of pleas from CAF authorities. This eventually led to cancellation of the match, which would have seen one of the teams in Group L sail through to join the others that have already qualified for the 2023 Nations Cup in Cameroon.