- Kenya failed to play Uganda due to a tussle between government and FKF
- The women’s AFCON will be staged in Morocco in June
- Nigeria are the defending champions
The line-up for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has been completed, with Kenya missing out after handing a walk over to Uganda in the final qualification round.
Kenya’s Harambee Starlets failed to play the final qualification round despite a massive victory over South Sudan in the previous round due to the current tussle between the government and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
FKF CEO Barry Otieno, in a letter to CAF last month, stated that the Federation was not in a position to assemble a team to play Uganda and were not in control of proceedings after the Ministry of Sports-installed caretaker committee formed a new technical bench, disbanding the previous unit.
With CAF not interested in dealing with the caretaker committee, they handed the Ugandan side a walkover, becoming the first team alongside hosts Morocco to qualify for the June showpiece.
The She-Cranes have now made it to the tournament for the first time in 22 years, having last qualified in 200.
Other teams to have qualified include Burundi, Togo, Burkina Faso and Botswana who are playing for the first time ever. Also qualified are South Africa, Cameroon, Tunisia, defending champions Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia.
Holders Nigeria progressed after seeing off Ivory Coast 1-0 in the second leg and progressing 3-0 on aggregate.
Ifeoma Onumonu’s brace had gave the Super Falcons a 2-0 first leg win over the Lady Elephants in Abuja, and they just needed to avoid defeat in the return fixture in Abidjan to go through.
Nigeria dominated Ivory Coast and had close chances. Francisca Ordega’s goal was ruled out for offside early on while the Ivorian keeper made brilliant saves to keep her side in the game.
The home side had a perfect opportunity to break the deadlock after 34 minutes when Ash Plumtree fouled an Ivorian girl in the box, but Fatou Coulibaly saw her penalty saved by the Nigerian keeper.
After the break, the Nigerians faced more attacking threats and they were rewarded when Esther Okoronkwo’s stunner three minutes from time handed them an away win and a sure ticket to Morocco.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses also progressed after beating The Gambia’s Queen Scorpions 2-1 in Banjul to qualify with a 10-2 aggregate score. The Cameroonians had won the first leg 8-1 in Yaounde.
Captain Gabrielle Onguene Aboudi broke the deadlock after seven minutes in Banjul following a defensive mistake in the Queen Scorpions’ defense.
The visiting side had most of the possession but the Gambians battled hard as they seek to avoid another drubbing on home soil. The Indomitable Lionesses increased their advantage ten minutes before halftime through Kevine Ossol’s header.
Catherine Jatta pulled a goal back for the Gambians with a well taken free kick six minutes after the restart, but it wasn’t enough for a massive comeback.
Elsewhere, Tunisia guaranteed their qualification despite a 3-2 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the second leg in Malabo. Tunisia went through 7-3 on aggregate having won the first leg 5-0 in Tunis.
South Africa meanwhile extended their unblemished qualification feat as they confirmed a place at the tournament despite a 1-1 second leg draw with Algeria in Algiers, They had won the first leg 2-0 and only needed to avoid defeat away from home.
In Porto Novo, Burkina Faso reached their first ever WAFCON after a 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau, taking the aggregate score to 7-0 having won the first leg 6-0.
Botswana also secured their first ever ticket to the WAFCON despite a 2-0second leg loss to Zimbabwe. They progressed on the away goal rule having won the first leg 3-1 in Harare.