Chad will not take part in the final matches of qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after being disqualified by African football’s governing body the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Chad – who were already bottom of Group A and out of contention for the finals in Cameroon – will not be finishing their upcoming matches against Namibia and Mali in Group A.

3-0 victories will automatically be given to Namibia and Mali as a forfeiture. 

The decision was made by CAF after Chad’s Football Federation was suspended by the country’s Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The governing bodies of football have strict rules in place that punish national football federations that have political involvements in them.

AFCON trophy

(Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

“Following the suspension of the Chadian Football Federation by the Chadian Ministry of Youth and Sports, CAF has decided to disqualify the national team of Chad from the qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations 2021,” a CAF statement said.

Mali now lead Group A with 13 points from five matches, and did not require the 3 free points as they had already secured their place for next year’s AFCON finals. Guinea stay second in the group with 8 points from their 4 games.

Guinea will have to be at their best in both of their final qualifying games as a home win against Mali will ensure qualification for the finals. Any other result would mean that the National Elephants would have to travel to Namibia and avoid defeat to secure their ticket to Cameroon.