11 November 2010
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea booked their places in the final of the 2010 African Women's Championship on Thursday, and in doing so will represent the continent at the FIFA Women's World Cup next year.
Nigeria thrashed Cameroon 5-1 in the first game of the day, while defending champions Equatorial Guinea beat hosts South African 3-1 after extra-time.
But controversy continues to dog the Guinea side.
After an earlier protest from Cameroon that they were fielding ineligible players, something CAF dismissed “until a full investigation could be launched”, Ghana have now stated that the Guinea side includes men!
Two Black Queens players, Diana Ankomah and captain Florence Okoe, claim Equatorial Guinea used three men during their final Group B game on Monday which Ghana lost 3-1 to exit the competition.
Cameroon has filed an official complaint against Equatorial Guinea for similar gender claims.
CAF is refusing to comment on the issue as this is the second tournament in a row that the Guineans have been accused of gender cheating.
Salimata Simpore, Bilguisa Simpore and team captain Genoveva Ayonmang were in 2008 suspected to be boys.
Black Queens' team captain Florence Okoe said no one can make her yield in her belief that Salimata Simpore was "a boy playing in a girls game”.
"It is not as if we are throwing sour grapes, just because we have lost. Rather, this is the fact and it is up to the organisers to do something about this. It is not good for African women football," she said.
Diana Ankomah, says despite their disappointing finish, they were only feeling unhappy with the gender of the opposition.
Ankomah re-echoed the claim that at least two of Equatorial Guinea's players were not girls.
"To lose a football game is not something we don't know how to take, that is now normal for us as footballers,” Diana Ankomah told NAN.
"But losing to unequal opposition like in this case of Equatorial Guinea is painful. You only need to have physical contact with them to know this, and we can tell from what happened most times during the match," she said.
Meanwhile, the brilliant Perpetua Nkwocha netted a second hat-trick of the tournament to lead Nigeria to a 5-1 win over Cameroon.
The other goals came from Helen Ukaonu and Ugochi Oparanozie with Jeannette Ngock getting a late consolation for Cameroon.
In the later game, the controversial Simpore scored twice in injury-time and an own goal from Simphiwe Dludlu sealed Banyana's fate against Equatorial Guinea.
What are your views? Leave your comments below