The Rwanda Football Federation on Tuesday appealed against its disqualification from 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for fielding a player with double nationality.
The Confederation of African Football imposed the sanction after an investigation into Rwandan striker Dady Birori, who plays for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) club Vita as Agiti Tady Etekiama.
The Rwandan federation has since contested the disqualification on grounds that the player acquired Rwanda nationality before that of DRC.
CAF said that its probe found that the DR Congo-born striker was born December 12, 1986 as indicated in his Rwandan passport, while his Congolese passport indicates that he was born on December 13, 1990.
Rwandan federation secretary general Olivier Mulindahabi said that the striker acquired his Rwandan passport in 2009, while his DRC passport is dated 2013 which, he says, makes him an eligible Rwandan player.
“In 2009 when we were taking him on as a national team player he did not present to us any document indicating that he is Congolese which clearly indicates that we have a ground of appeal considering that his DRC passport was issued in 2013,” said Mulindahabi.
CAF said that Birori-Etekiama has been barred from playing for Vita or Rwanda until further notice.
CAF also ruled that Congo Brazzaville, who were beaten on penalties by Rwanda in a third-round qualifier, will replace them in Group A of the final round of qualifiers, which includes title-holders Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.
The 2015 African Cup of Nations finals will be held in Morocco between January 18-February 8.