Equatorial Guinea have been handed a ban from participating in the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations as well as the next two editions for fielding an ineligible player.

The CAF Organising Committee for Women’s Football has disqualified Equatorial Guinea from November’s Women African Cup of Nations in Cameroon after being found guilty of fraud, using a player who possessed two different passports with contrasting details.

In April 2016, FIFA ruled that Camila Maria do Carmo Nobre de Oliveira was found to have used two passports with different birth dates and two birth certificates a decision that saw the country expelled from the 2020 Olympics preliminary qualifiers.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced via its website that it has penalised Equatorial Guinea over the same issue saying that it acted after a protest by Mali, who lost 3-2 to Equatorial Guinea in the final round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“The CAF Organising Committee for Women’s Football, in charge of the organization of all female competitions including the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday, 4 August 2016 decided on the disqualification of Equatorial Guinea from the impending TOTAL Women’s AFCON Cameroon 2016. In addition, they are suspended from the next two editions, namely 2018 and 2020.

“The decision was a result of a protest by Mali, who faced Equatorial Guinea at the third and final round of the qualifiers. The protest was about the player Camila Nobre do Carmo Oliviera who featured in the first and second leg matches on 6 April 2016 and 10 April 2016 respectively, which saw Equatorial Guinea emerge winners 3-2 on aggregate.

“The Committee’s decision was based on Article 43 of the regulations of the competition which states “If CAF is informed, no matter the source, that a fraud or a forgery was committed by any means and /or support whatsoever by one or more national team(s), an investigation will be opened”.

“Investigations by CAF revealed that the player was registered for the Women’s AFCON Namibia 2014 as Camila Maria Nobre Carmo with date of birth: 07/10/1994.

“For the 2016 edition, her date of birth stated 10/06/1988 and the name Camila Nobre do Carmo Oliviera,” parts of the statement read.

In its defense, the Equatorial Guinea Football Federation (FEGUIFUT) admitted that it is the same player, adding “the Equatorial Guinean authority responsible for the issuance of passports committed an error by registering a different date of birth and name, and the error was corrected on the new passport of the player issued in September 2015”.

But CAF insists it was the duty of the Federation to inform CAF of the changes in the records of the player regarding her registration for the Women AFCON 2014 and that of 2016.

Also, the Equato-Guinean Federation did not ask CAF to modify the data of the player; rather a new registration was done. The committee further ruled that the participation of the player in the games against Mali is considered illegal.

Mali now takes the place of Equatorial Guinea in the final tournament of the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations, scheduled for Cameroon from 19 November to 3 December.

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