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 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 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.
Probing further, 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”.
The Committee concluded that 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 Federation did not ask CAF to modify the data of the player; rather a new registration was done. Consequently, “the participation of player Camila Nobre do Carmo Oliviera with Equatorial Guinea in the two matches against Mali is considered illegal”.
Moreover, after the end of the qualifiers for the Women AFCON 2016, the said player was handed a suspension by FIFA for using different passports with different dates of birth during the Olympic Games qualifiers. The sanction by FIFA proved that Equatorial Guinea was guilty of fraud due to the different information relating to the identity of the player.
Based on the above, the Committee in pursuant to Articles 43 and 44 of the regulations for the Women AFCON, has decided to disqualify the Equatorial Guinea national women’s team from the Women AFCON Cameroon 2016, and the subsequent suspensions from the 2018 and 2020 editions.
Article 44 states “In case the alleged facts are true, the convicted national association will be suspended from participation in the following two editions of the Women Africa Cup of Nations”.
Therefore, Mali will replace Equatorial Guinea in the final tournament of the 2016 edition scheduled for Cameroon from 19 November to 3 December 2016.