The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Disciplinary Board has ruled in favor of Benin after they lodged a case against Rwanda for allegedly fielding an ineligible player in Kevin Muhire during the pair’s 1-1 draw in a 2023 AFCON Group L qualifier held in Kigali on March 29.
The continental football governing body ruled that the Kuwait-based midfielder was not supposed to play the game in Kigali after receiving two yellow cards in two consecutive AFCON qualifying matches.
In a post-match press conference, Benin head coach Gernot Rohr told members of the press that the Beninese FA had already filed an appeal to CAF arguing that Muhire was ineligible to play the qualifier in Kigali, having accumulated two yellow cards against Senegal and Benin in the first leg.
In a letter that Times Sport has seen on Tuesday, the CAF Disciplinary informed Rwanda FA that they lost their AFCON Qualifier against Benin by a 3-0 forfeit in accordance with article 105 of the disciplinary code after ruling that Benin’s appeal was valid.
The development means that Benin moves to the third place of Group L level with second-placed Mozambique on four points in four matches while Rwanda dropped to bottom of the table with two points, putting Amavubi’s race for a ticket to the 2023 AFCON finals in jeopardy.
It remains unclear whether Rwanda will appeal against the decision.
It is not the first time that Rwanda has been charged for fielding an ineligible player. A similar case happened when CAF disqualified Rwanda from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers following a complaint lodged by the Congo Brazzaville FA accusing Rwanda of using a player with dual identity.
The player at the centre of the controversy was Rwanda international Daddy Birori, who was also playing for DR Congo side AS Vita Club under the name Agiti Tady Etekiama.
Birori at the time featured for Amavubi in the first leg in Pointe-Noire, which Congo won 2-0 but hadn’t played in the return leg in Kigali, a game that Amavubi won by the same score and went on to win the tie 4-3 on penalties.