Renewed hope for Nigeria, Tanzania as Chad rescind decision to withdraw from Afcon qualifiers

Congo Brazzaville have emerged as surprise candidates to host the expanded 24-team 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament
Congo Brazzaville have emerged as surprise candidates to host the expanded 24-team 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament

In a twist of fate that could yet bring succour to Nigeria and Tanzania, the Chadian Football Federation has rescinded its decision to withdraw from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers if Caf would accept it back.

The Chadians announced this news via their official website on Thursday evening, four days after they threw Group G into disarray with their decision to drop out of qualifying due to financial constraints.

Looking at the financial implications of withdrawing which has attracted a $20,000 fine from Caf, the Chad federation said it thought it wise to remain in the competition rather than spend the money on a fine.

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“We will return to qualifying and we regret any logistics problems that this might have caused Caf, our fellow group opponents and our fans,” a statement from the general secretary of the Chadian Football Federation, Amadou Keita Chaibou, read.

“It is our hope that this return will help us avoid more sanctions seeing that our poor country cannot afford to pay $20,000 when we claim not to have money for flights and accommodation.

“We also hope that it would not affect our plans to qualify for the World Cup in 2018 so we have returned like prodigal sons wishing that Caf will accept our plea.”

However, the decision on whether to accept Chad back to the competition would be made by the Caf Competitions Board in the next few hours.

It is good news for Nigeria and Tanzania who had given up on qualifying for Gabon 2017 due to the soar away success of the resurgent Egyptians.

Now, any one of the two sides could still garner enough points to finish in second place and with points high enough to see them through to Afcon 2017 as one of two best second-placed sides.

Happy April 1st!

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