Harambee Stars qualify for Cup of Nations

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It’s now official that Harambee Stars have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) slated for June 15 to July 11.

This is after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) confirmed that Sierra Leone was disqualified from the qualifiers last Friday following an Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting in Accra, Ghana.

The West African nation is also suspended from all football activities by the world governing body, Fifa, due to government interference.

“The Caf Executive committee decided that Sierra Leone is disqualified,” Caf Communication Director Nathalie Rabe told Nation Sport on Monday.

“So the Group “F” is composed of three teams; Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya,” she added.

The development means Kenya is assured of a top two finish regardless of the outcome of their final match against Ghana in March since they top the group with seven points, one ahead of four-time champions Black Stars.

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Ethiopia are bottom with one point having played all their four matches.

The top two teams from each group qualify for the 24-team tournament.

Stars – who started this campaign on a wrong footing going down 2-1 away to Sierra Leone June last year before reviving their hopes with an infamous 1-0 win over Ghana in September and the 3-0 thrashing of Ethiopia 3-0 at home in October – last featured at the biennial tourney in 2004 in Tunisia.

The Sebastian Migne-coached side join Ghana, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Mali, Guinea – coached by former Stars coach Paul Put – Uganda, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Madagascar at the finals.

Cameroon, who were stripped off the hosting rights last week, lost the automatic qualification but are still in contention to claim the remaining ticket from Group “B”.

They are second on five points, two below leaders Morocco and three ahead of third-placed Comoros. Malawi sits bottom of the group with a match to go.

Morocco and South Africa are likely to replace Cameroon as hosts. Caf will confirm the new hosts by December 31.

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