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CAF Finally Readmits Zanzibar After 53-year hiatus
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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) voted Thursday to readmit Zanzibar as a full member of the continental body at its annual meeting in Ethiopia.
The East African island off the coast of Tanzania was considered an associate member of CAF until member states unanimously approved its full membership tonight at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.
“This is great… for Zanzibar and African football,” Zanzibar Football Association President Ravia Idarous Faina told reporters after a unanimous decision.
Zanzibar’s status as an associate of CAF meant its players could play in inter-club tournaments, but were not allowed to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations, said CAF media director Junior Binyam.
Footballers could also compete on the Tanzanian national team, he said.
Zanzibar is the first new member of CAF admitted since South Sudan joined in 2012, bringing the total number of members states to 55.
The Zanzibari Soccer body’s CAF admission pave the way for the semi-autonomous archipelago’s long sought desire and dream to become a full-fledged FIFA member and chance for Zanzibar National team to participate in the World Cup.