The disciplinary panel of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) officially notified the Gabonese Football Federation (Fegafoot) on May 16 that the national football team has been disqualified from the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) U23 final phase, set to commence next month in Morocco. The jury also decided to suspend Fegafoot from the next edition of this competition.
According to the communication received, the Organizing Committee of the CAN U23 is now obligated to find a replacement team for Gabon. In Yaoundé, this decision is being perceived as a victory, a kind of revenge since Cameroon was eliminated by Gabon in the qualifying round earlier this year. As a reminder, the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) filed a formal complaint with the CAF disciplinary panel against Gabon after this elimination.
This complaint concerned the age of a Gabonese player, Floriss Djave, who plays with the Cypriot club Aris Limassol. In response, Fegafoot mentioned an administrative error and provided proof that Floriss Djave is 20 years old this year.
However, the rules of the CAN U23 sanction administrative errors, as explained by the disciplinary panel of the CAF. Article 44 of these rules states that "for any administrative error in the registration of players, the national association concerned will be suspended from participation in the next edition of the CAN U23, and their team will be eliminated from the competition if it is still in progress.”