Afcon: How Mali escaped disqualification from tournament in Egypt

Yacouba Sylla of Mali and Mohamed Salah of Egypt
The West African country would have been axed from the 2019 Afcon finals, but they were able to meet the conditions reeled out by Fifa

 Mali will have their flag hoisted at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations following fears that they may be axed from the tournament in Egypt.

The past weekend was critical for Mali, having been warned by Fifa about possible suspension if there are no amicable solutions to the crisis plaguing the country's football federation.

The Federation of Malian Football (Femafoot) has been enmeshed in a prolonged crisis for several years and was briefly suspended by Fifa in 2017 over government interference.

However, at the congress held over the weekend, the normalisation committee - which has been running the day-to-day affairs of Femafoot - reached a comprise with warring parties, and an elective general assembly will be held within two months to elect a new FA president

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According to local reports, it took over 14 hours of deliberation before the comprise was reached and the looming ban effectively avoided.

The weekend meeting was held in the presence of both Fifa’s director of development for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba, and Antonio Souaré, president of the Guinean Football Federation representing the Confederation of African Football.

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Mali have been drawn in Group E at Afcon alongside Tunisia, Angola, and debutants Mauritania, with their opening game taking place against the latter on June 24.

Mali, who failed to get out of their group in their last two appearances at the Afcon, were the last team to submit their final squad for the 2019 tournament.