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2023 U-23 AfconQ: DR Congo getting kicked out after ‘miraculous’ participation despite Caf ban

The Central Africans were supposed to be serving a two-tournament suspension.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are at risk of being kicked out as Ghana’s next opponent in the 2023 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

This is due to a complaint filed by Algeria after losing 5-4 on aggregate to the Central Africans in the penultimate qualifying round for the Morocco tournament.

During the qualifiers for the last U-23 Afcon Egypt 2019, DR Congo advanced at the expense of Morocco but were later disqualified by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) for fielding an ineligible player. The Moroccans protested against the involvement of defender Arsène Zola who they had detected to have crossed the age limit.

Morocco took up the spot and faced Mali while the Congolese were additionally slapped with a suspension from the next two editions of the U-23 competition.

Quite astonishingly, DR Congo showed up in the qualifiers for the next tournament scheduled for Morocco from November 2 to 26, 2023.

Caf never detected the anomaly until the DRC reached the final qualifying round and were set to play Ghana. They defeated Algeria 4-1 at home and lost the second leg 3-1.

While Algeria was the whistleblower team and the last team to face the Congolese, they are not expected to gain an automatic ticket to compete with Ghana’s Black Meteors for the ultimate ticket later in March. understands that Caf is already exploring the most convenient solution with some quarters indicating that Algeria and Ethiopia could be made to battle out to replace DR Congo. The Ethiopians were eliminated by DRC in the first qualifying round. The aggregate winner in the Algeria-Ethiopia tie will then advance to face the Black Meteors.


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