The Mali national team is at the risk of being disqualified from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
With only a few days to the commencement of the biennial tournament in Egypt, FIFA was said to have issued an ultimatum to all stakeholders in Mali ahead of their general meeting scheduled for June 15.
The world football governing body had warned that if there are no amicable solutions to the crisis plaguing the Malian Federation, the country may be suspended at all levels.
Since December 2017, the Mali Federation had been under the tutelage of a standardisation committee put in place to draft new statutes within the federation and to reorganise current affairs.
Unfortunately, very little had been achieved as far as these two missions were concerned
Fifa’s director of development for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba, via his official Twitter handle revealed the stance of the world football governing body’s President, Gianni Infantino, on the Mali crisis.
“Fifa President, Gianni Infantino is clear: if the GA of June 15 turns into a fiasco, the competent bodies of Fifa may suspend Mali. This sentiment is echoed by the president of Caf, Mali risks being suspended from the Nations’ Cup, which begins on June 21…” Omba wrote before adding that Infantino “will not allow few people to take Malian football hostage.”
The potential disqualification of Mali could lead to the disruption of the smooth running of Group E at the Afcon in Egypt with Angola, Mauritania and Tunisia left to compete in a three-man group.
Caf may also consider other 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, Burkina Faso.