Namibia’s protest over the eligibility of Burkina Faso’s Cameroon-born player Herve Zengue was dismissed by the Confederation of African Football on Friday.
The continental mother body ruled against Namibia’s protest because of the wrong protest procedure, the BBC reported.
Citing article 37.1 of the CAF statutes, Africa’s ruling body dismissed the protest saying it was filed long after the stipulated period for such appeals.
This means that Burkina Faso will now play in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations which takes place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January and February 2012.
Zengue’s nationality was key in deciding whether Burkina Faso or Namibia would qualify for the tournament.
Namibia stood to qualify for January’s finals if Namibia’s protest was upheld.
The ruling means the Stallions will go into Saturday’s draw but dark clouds hang over the participation of Zengue in the tournament to be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Zengue is a Burkinabe but is not yet fully eligible to play for the Burkinabe - and requires Fifa clearance for him to play for the Stallions at the African Cup of Nations.
This is because Fifa statutes say a player born outside any country must fulfill one of three other criteria in order to represent them: If his mother or father was born on the territory of the relevant association; if his grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant association; if he has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant Association.
Zengue’s sole two competitive games for Burkina Faso this qualifying campaign have both come against Namibia, with the Stallions winning 4-1 away in March and 4-0 at home in June.
The Stallions were on Saturday placed in Group B with tournament favourites Ivory Coast, Angola and Sudan.
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations draw was conducted on Saturday for the January 16, 16-nation continental showpiece.
The countries were seeded based on their performance in the last three Nations Cup tournaments, with Ivory Coast and Ghana finding themselves among the top four seeds, while Gabon and Equatorial Guinea were also seeded as co-hosts.
The winners and runners-up of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals while the remaining two teams will play no further part in proceedings. On February 12 the final between the two best teams in the competition will take place, to determine Africa’s best national team.
Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Senegal and Libya
Ivory Coast, Angola, Burkina Faso and Sudan
Gabon, Tunisia, Morocco and Niger
Ghana, Guinea, Mali and Botswana
The national soccer team is in action tonight (Monday) against Lesotho at the Independence Stadium in the capital, as new coach Bernard Kaanjuka’s rebuilding exercise continues.
The international friendly match comes exactly a month before Namibia plays unknown Djibouti in a 2014 World Cup Qualifier.
Kaanjuka has a assembled a side brimming with local talent, with Black Africa’s Arnold Subeb likely to start ahead of African Stars’ Max Mbaeva, while the absence of the premiership’s leading scorers Stars’ Rudi Louw (5-goals) and Black Africa’s Jerome Louis (four goals) from the squad leaves questions on Kaanjuka’s tactics onto the game.
Louw and Louis have both ignited the local premiership and have been credited for the competition between Stars and BA on the log summit.
But Kaanjuka will take reprieve from the fact that his new-look Brave Warriors is composed of the youth brigade, with the average age of the squad being 24, the first, in a long time.
Arnold Subeb (Black Africa), Steven Sabatha (Tigers), Da Costa Angula (Black Africa), Chris Katjiukua (African Stars), Denzil Hoaseb (Black Africa) Heinrich Isaacks (Civics), Willy Stephanus (Black Africa), Eslin Kamuhanga (Black Africa), Brian Bantam (Black Africa), Petrus Shitembi (Rundu Chiefs), Sidney Urikhob (Ramblers)