It’s official! The 2019 AFCON qualification double-header between Ghana and Sierra Leone has been called off by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after Sierra Leonean authorities failed to meet FIFA’s ultimatum on Tuesday.
The world football’s governing body gave the government until late Tuesday to reinstate ousted Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara to have the ban lifted and enable the Leone Stars play the AFCON qualifier against the Black Stars on Thursday.
“AFCON Qualifier matches Ghana vs Sierra Leone & Sierra Leone vs Ghana on the 11th and 14th of October respectively have been cancelled as SLFA did not meet the conditions stipulated in the letter sent by CAF on FIFA’s decision to suspend the federation,” CAF announced on Twitter on Tuesday night.
After a meeting on Monday, Sierra Leonean officials petitioned FIFA to lift the ban and allow the national team honour Thursday’s game, while they seek to resolve the crisis.
FIFA did not yield to the request and instead issued an ultimatum.
The Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone barred Johansen and Kamara from having access to the premises of the SLFA after they were accused of corruption.
Both have denied any wrongdoing.
FIFA deemed the move as “governmental interference” and sent a warning to the authorities followed by an immediate suspension of the football association.
It remains unclear if Ghana would be awarded full points for the two games or whether Group F would be simply reduced to three teams after the removal of Sierra Leone.