The withdrawal by Chad from the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers has set higher hurdles for Nigeria in the race to Gabon 2017.
Chad, who were sitting bottom of Group G without a point, were set to play Tanzania in a reverse fixture in Dar es Salaam on Monday before they announced their withdrawal on Sunday. They had lost by a 1-0 defeat at home last Wednesday in the first leg.
And following a rule set by the Confederation of African Football in 2015, only one team can qualify from the group because it now has three teams – Egypt, Nigeria and Tanzania. Nigerians were hoping that Eagles could still slip through to Gabon as one of the best losers if they are able to play a draw with the Egyptians on Tuesday. But that hope has been dashed leaving the Eagles with no option but to beat the Pharaohs in Alexandria and also beat Tanzania in a later fixture.
CAF confirmed Chad’s withdrawal by handing out suspension from the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers and a fine of $20,000 to them.
The CAF statement via Twitter read, “The Chad Football Federation withdraws from the Nations Cup qualifiers where they participated in Group G alongside Nigeria, Egypt and Tanzania.
“If a team withdraws from the qualifying phase organised in groups, all its results shall be annulled (points, scored and conceded goals).
“Hence, the matches of Chad of the first three days of Group G matches are cancelled and their results will not be taken into consideration.
“Accordingly, following the decision of CAF Executive Committee dated January 15th 2015: “Any group reduced to three teams following a team withdrawal will only qualify the first team of that group.”
“The Chadian Football Association is suspended from the upcoming edition of the Nations Cup and must pay the monetary fine of US $20,000.”
Nigeria had beaten Chad 2-0 in Kaduna in their first match of the qualifying round before getting a draw in Dar es Salaam against Tanzania to stay in second position.
Egypt had a better outing beating Chad 5-1 away from home, but have now also lost the three points. They are now on four points instead of seven. Nigeria lost three points as well and now have two. The Tanzanians have just a point.
The Chadians blamed global economic outlook for their decision to withdraw.