AFCON 2019: Gabon or Burkina Faso could replace Mali

By Brian Aheebwa

As the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations edges closer, Mali could be banned from the tournament according to www.goal.com.

Mali’s scare of being suspended from this year’s continental competition in Egypt could be joy of either Gabon or Burkina Faso.

FIFA is said to have issued an ultimatum to all stakeholders in Mali ahead of their general meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 15.

FIFA’s director of development for Africa and the Caribbean Veron Mosengo-Omba revealed that the West African country may be banned if they fail to get it right in their congress coming up this weekend.

Via his official Twitter handle, Omba revealed the stance of the World football governing body’s President Gianni Infantino on the Mali crisis.

“FIFA President Gianni Infantino stance is clear: If the GA (general assembly) of June 15 turns into a fiasco, the competent bodies of FIFA may suspend Mali,” Omba wrote before adding.

“This sentiment is echoed by the President of CAF, Mali risks being suspended from the AFCON, which begins on June 21.”

After the 2017 AFCON in Gabon, the Mali Football Federation (MFF) has had issues with the Federation of International football Association (FIFA).

Issues they have to deal with before the 2019 AFCON include having a standardisation committee put in place to draft new statuses within the Federation.

The standardisation committee was mandated to reorganise current affairs as far as Malian football is concerned by FIFA.

Unfortunately, none of the above has been achieved carrying FIFA’s concern ahead of their general assembly on June 15th, 2019 which could cost Mali’s chances of playing at Africa’s finest tournament in Egypt.

Just in case Mali is disqualified from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, there could a disruption in as far as Group E is concerned.

The Confederation of African football Association (CAF) will have to consider one of the following three options.

CAF may opt to leave only three teams to compete in Group E which comprises of Tunisia, Mauritania, Angola and troubled Mali.

CAF may also consider other two options, which include allowing the third-placed team (Gabon) during the qualifiers in Mali’s group to come in as a replacement.

Or grant the vacant place to the best third-placed team overall during qualifiers which is Burkina Faso.

The World football governing body has warned that if there are no amicable solutions to the crisis plaguing the Malian Federation, the Country may be suspended at all levels in world football.

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