AFCON 2023 (Q): DRC uphold appeal against Mauritania

RD Congo
AFCON 2023 (Q): DRC uphold appeal against Mauritania

After losing their appeal against the cancellation of Cédric Bakambu's red card for the 1-1 draw with Mauritania on 28 March 2023 on Matchday 4 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the DRC confirmed that they had lodged a complaint with CAF about the use of a player who should have been ineligible.

DRC confirms counter-attack against Mauritania

CAF rejected the DRC's objection to the cancellation of Cédric Bakambu's red card, which was deemed to be inexistent on Matchday 4 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. That was against Mauritania (1-1). Far from giving up, FECOFA counter-attacked by lodging an appeal with CAF. This was to complain about 3 Mauritanian players presumed to be ineligible. The Congolese federation had targeted goalkeeper Babacar Niasse, left-back Khadim Diaw and defensive midfielder El Hadji Bâ.

Khadim Diaw singled out?
Following the Leopards' 1-0 friendly win over Uganda in Cameroon, DRC coach Sébastien Desabre confirmed the appeal. "We submitted a case concerning the qualification of a Mauritanian player in a return match," said the French coach. FECOFA's defence is based on the fact that Horoya AC (Guinea) player Khadim Diaw played in the CHAN 2020 qualifiers with Senegal's local team before pulling on the shirt of the Mauritanian national team. The DRC federation is accusing the Mauritanian federation of "not having respected the procedures for changing association", according to the Congolese media outlet LEOPARDSFOOT.

If these facts prove to be true, the DRC could win the match by a landslide, thereby increasing their chances of qualifying for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations and jeopardising those of the Mauritanians. Pending CAF's response, coach Sébastien Desabre is confident. "We're waiting for CAF's decision, which could overturn the results," he says. The suspense in this case remains intact.

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