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Controversy rocks Equatorial Guinea’s camp ahead of clash with Harambee Starlets

Essie Akida of Harambee Starlets takes a shot past Uganda's Shakira Mutibwa during their Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers first leg match on April 4, 2018 at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos county. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO
Essie Akida of Harambee Starlets takes a shot past Uganda's Shakira Mutibwa during their Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers first leg match on April 4, 2018 at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos county. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO
Controversy has rocked Wednesday's women's 2018 Africa Nations Cup qualification match pitting Kenya and Equatorial Guinea in Machakos, amid claims the visiting side has included three ineligible players in their squad for this contest.

Controversy has rocked Wednesday’s women’s 2018 Africa Nations Cup qualification match pitting Kenya and Equatorial Guinea in Machakos, amid claims the visiting side has included three ineligible players in their squad for this contest.

The three players in question, Nairobi News has established, are Annette Jacky Messomo, Blessing Nanbugwu and Dorline Nina Chuigoue.

Messomo for example, is listed by several websites as a naturalised Equatorial Guinean born in Yaounde, Cameroonian 25-years-ago but currently plies her professional trade in Kazakhstan.

But then, there is serious doubt on whether she qualifies to represent Equatorial Guinea.

Fifa rules indicate a player has to have been born in a country, or has his/her parents or grandparents be born there, or must have lived in that country for more than five years to qualify to represent it’s national team.

Messomo doesn’t seem to meet either of these requirements.

EXPELLED

Blessing and Nina too, reportedly don’t meet this criteria even though they are in line to face Kenya.

Interestingly, this very team was recently expelled from the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France for fielding 10 ineligible players and using forged documents.

Despite all these sideshows, Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma, who guided Kenya to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon in 2016, is determined to secure a convincing victory over Equatorial Guinea.

He said: “We have had some good time together and although there are some minor improvements to be made especially with our midfielders, we are ready for the match.”

This is the second and final round of qualification and the winner of this two-legged tie will qualify to participate in the Africa Nation Cup finals in Ghana come November.

About the author

DAVID KWALIMWA

DAVID KWALIMWA

David Kwalimwa is a journalist with a great bias for sporting events and current affairs. He studied Information Technology at Kampala International University. He’s experience in journalism includes covering Kenya’s General Elections in 2013 and 2017, two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, the FIVB Grand Prix in Mexico and Croatia, and Women’s Volleyball World Cup.



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