Burkina cleared for Africa Cup of Nations

Herve Zengue (in white) and Siboniso Gaxa of South Africa
Herve Zengue (in white) was born in Cameroon but is married to a Burkinabe

Burkina Faso will play in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after a protest over the eligibility of Cameroon-born Herve Zengue was dismissed.

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 their protest was upheld.

But Caf ruled against Namibia because they used the wrong procedure in their protest.

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.

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.

Even though he is married to a Burkinabe, Zenge is not yet fully is eligible to play for the Burkinabe - and requires Fifa clearance.

This is because Fifa statutes say a player born outside any country must fulfil one of three other criteria in order to represent them:

  • His mother or father was born on the territory of the relevant association.
  • His grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant association.
  • 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.

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