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Sports CAF disqualifies Lesotho, Nigeria given automatic AYC ticket

Confederation of African football(CAF) has proclaimed Nigeria as winners of their African Youth Championship(AYC) qualifiers against Lesotho.

By the ruling,Nigeria's Flying Eagles have now become the first team aside the host nation to qualify for the African Youth Championship taking place in Senegal next year.

Nigeria on Saturday walked over Lesotho,after they failed to turn up for the game in Kaduna last weekend,citing concerns over the threat of Ebola in the West African country.

Lesotho refused to travel to Nigeria for the game,but the match commissioner from Benin Republic and referees from Senegal were all in Kaduna.

CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani in a letter addressed to the Lesotho Football Federation on Sunday, 17 August 2014, said the decision was reached in line with Articles 54 and 55 of the regulations for the competitions.

Article 55 of the regulations of the competition stipulates that: “a team which shall not be present on the ground, dressed to play at the time fixed for kick-off or at most 15 minutes later, shall forfeit the match. The referee shall register the absence of the team and shall write it in his report. The final decision in this respect shall be taken by the Organising Committee.”

Article 54 also states “if for any reason whatsoever, a team withdraws from the competition or does not report for a match except for cases of force majeure accepted by the Organizing Committee, or if it refuses to play or leaves the ground before the regular end of the match without the authorization of the referee, it shall be considered to be the loser and shall be eliminated immediately from the competition. The same shall apply for the teams which were declared to be disqualified by decision of CAF.”

"Consequently, Lesotho is considered loser in the said match and eliminated from the competition and Nigeria is qualified to the next round. The second leg match is automatically cancelled," the letter addressed to the Lesotho Football Federation read.

The Flying Eagles having learnt about CAF's decision decamped as there will be no need for a return leg in Maseru.