Benin remains hopeful to play 2017 AFCON qualifier

 

Benin Football Federation (FBF) has intensified preparations to host Equatorial Guinea in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday despite being banned from global football.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said that no decision has yet been made on whether to cancel the Group C match.

The FIFA Council has been given the power to readmit Benin.

The suspension can be lifted when a new Benin Football Federation (FBF) Executive Committee has been installed.

FIFA suspended the FBF from global football after a court ruling in the country blocked upcoming elections.

Benin’s Minister of sport, Oswald Homeky said: “We are still in discussions with the protagonists of the crisis in the football federation. We remain hopeful.”

While a Squirrels squad is in Cotonou training for the match while the already eliminated Equatorial Guinea cancelled a friendly against Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Thursday, because of the qualifier.

If there is no word from FIFA then Benin will be disqualified from the Nations Cup campaign.

“If by the date of their game they are still banned they will be logically eliminated,” CAF explained.

Benin are currently the best second-placed side in the competition with eight points.

They are two points behind Mali who play South Sudan on Saturday in the other Group C match.

 

BBC/Aisha JM