Benin have been granted a partial reprieve from the prospect of having to forfeit a key African Nations Cup qualifier after their suspension was conditionally lifted by FIFA.
The small west African country was banned by world football’s governing body last month after a local court stopped its football federation elections. FIFA has suspended several countries previously for outside interference in footballing affairs.
The ban threatened the Group C qualifier against Equatorial Guinea, scheduled for Cotonou on Sunday, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said it would now be played on June 12.
“Following the decision of the FIFA Council on the conditional lifting of the suspension of Benin, CAF decided to postpone the qualifier initially scheduled for June 5,” said a statement on Saturday, adding that it would go ahead only if elections took place no later than June 11.
Benin are in contention for a place in next year’s finals, sitting two points behind group leaders Mali with two matches left.