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São Tomé and Príncipe win CAF appeal, will replace Mauritius in Group A of 2023 AFCON qualifying

Following a successful appeal to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the São Tomé and Príncipe national team has been reinstated into qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after previously being disqualified. The team was forced to forfeit their first leg in the preliminary round of qualifying against Mauritius because star forward Luís Leal, scorer of the only goal in a 1-0 São Tomé victory, was judged to have had an invalid Covid-19 test when Mauritius appealed to CAF that the date of his test results were more than 72 hours before the first leg. The second leg ended in a 3-3 draw to give São Tomé an initial 4-3 victory on aggregate.

However, São Tomé made their own appeal and CAF upheld it, meaning that they will take part in Group A of the group stage along with Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. New arrangements will need to be made to accommodate São Tomé’s presence with the opening fixtures set to take place on June 9 and 13. Mauritius have asked CAF to explain their decision further and are considering filing an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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