The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has disqualified AS Vita from the Champions League for fielding an ineligible player.
CAF has however replaced the DR Congo club with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.
CAF said on Tuesday that “The CAF Organizing Committee for Interclubs Competitions at its meeting on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 reviewed a complaint by Stade Malien (Mali) on the eligibility of the player Idrissa Traore used by AS Vita (DR Congo) during the preliminary matches of the 2016 Orange CAF Champions League.
“Traore played with the Malian club during the 2015 season. Whilst featuring for Stade Malien, the CAF Disciplinary Board handed him a four (4) match suspension. He served only one match and the remaining with three (3) matches suspension was carried over to the next competition in line with Articles 114.1 & 114.2 of the CAF Disciplinary Code.
“However, AS Vita fielded him in the preliminary rounds of the 2016 Orange CAF Champions League against Mafunzo of Zimbabwe.
“In pursuance of Article VII Clause 9 & 10 of the regulations of the CAF Champions League which borders on Disciplinary Measures, the Organising Committee for Interclubs Competitions decided to disqualify AS Vita from the Orange CAF Champions League, replaced by Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) the last opponent of AS Vita before qualifying for the group phase.
“Clause 9 & 10 state “9.However, the tallying of these sanctions remains the responsibility of the national association and they will assume all responsibilities.
“10. A team which will have committed a fraud on the identity of a player or which will have allowed a suspended or non-qualified player to take part in a match shall lose the match and shall be completely eliminated from the competition as soon as the incriminating facts are clearly established by CAF Organising Committee.”