CAF restore Gabon in U23 AFCON

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Jun 2023

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have restored Gabon in the U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after overturning an earlier decision to disqualify them.

Gabon U23 players - Photo: Gabonese Football Federation official Facebook page


Gabon had been disqualified by the CAF disciplinary committee for a registration error. However, their appeal to the CAF appeals committee have been accepted, overturning the initial decision.

Cameroon, which had been reinstated into the tournament after Gabon's disqualification, will now be eliminated.

The Gabonese U23 team, known as the Panthers, had beaten Cameroon by penalties after a 1-1 tie on aggregate during the qualifiers.

However, they were guilty of swapping the date of birth of one of their players when registering him for the competition, mistakenly using another player's details.

CAF had initially viewed this as a sanctionable error, despite there being no intentional fraud.

Now, the Panthers will get their place at the tournament, which doubles as qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The U23 AFCON will be held in Morocco from 24 June to 8 July 2023. The competition will feature 8 teams, divided into two groups of four.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stage.

Gabon will be in Group B alongside holders Egypt, Mali, and Niger. The Panthers will kick off their campaign against Mali on 25 June.

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