Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia have confirmed their participation in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) finals in Cameroon.
Ethiopian match versus the host Ivory Coast was brought toa ahalt when the Ghanaian referee collapsed in the 80th minute. The visitors refused to continue the match given that the fourth official who was to take over was an Ivorian.
The Ivorian was a late pre-match replacement after the original referee from Ghana withdrew, leading to his compatriot being promoted from fourth official to match referee.
Referee Charles Bulu received treatment at the national stadium before being taken to hospital. His condition was not immediately known.
Bissau beat Congo 3-0 to qualify for their third successive finals. Guinea-Bissau got their first goal in the first half through their striker Piqueti. Alexandre Mendy and Jorginho later finished the score at 73rd and 80th minute respectively, dashing away Congo’s hopes to qualify for the Africa’s prestigious competition.
Madagascar needed maximum points to overtake Ethiopia in Group K, but the Indian Ocean side were held 0-0 by Niger in Toamasina.
In Abidjan, the Ivorians quickly built a two-goal advantage as Willy Boly scored and Franck Kessie converted a penalty.
Getaneh Kebede halved the deficit on 74 minutes only for Jean Kouassi to score a third goal for the Ivory Coast almost immediately.
Madagascar, who surprisingly reached the Cup of Nations quarter-finals when they debuted two years ago, attacked relentlessly but could not break down Niger, who conceded six goals when the sides last met.
An Aboubakar Kamara goal in first-half stoppage time earned Mauritania a 1-0 victory over the Central African Republic in Bangui and the second qualifying place in Group E behind Morocco.
It will be the second successive appearance at the finals of the premier African national team competition for the Mauritanians, who are coached by Frenchman Corentin Martins.
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe are the other qualifiers.