A maximum of four points stands between Kenya’s Harambee Stars and a historic return to the Afcon for the first time in 14 years.
Kenya last graced the biggest stage of African football during the 2004 edition in Tunisia but now stands a golden chance to qualify for the 2019 showpiece in Cameroon.
Stars take on Ethiopia in the 2019 qualifiers in a double header fixture starting Wednesday in Bahir Dar with the return leg four days later in Nairobi.
Four points from the double-clash will see Kenya through from Group F after FIFA banned Sierra Lione, the other member of the group which also has Ghana.
Kenya lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone in their first qualifier last year while Ethiopia beat them 1-0 last month in round two fixtures of the matches.
With the ban in place, all the results against the West African country stand cancelled, giving Kenya, who beat Ghana 1-0 last month an edge over Ethiopia, who are now without a point.
Ghana, who thumped Ethiopia 5-0 in their opener are tied on three points with Kenya in the group.
Efforts to have the ban lifted for Sierra Leone to play Ghana in the other group’s double header hit a snag Tuesday after FIFA rejected Sierra Leone FA appeal.
The Zurich-based world’s football body made it known that the ban can only be removed when suspended Sierra Leone FA president Isha Johansen and secretary general Chris Camara are reinstated.
The duo were prevailed upon to step aside by the country’s anti-corruption body over graft charges they are currently facing.
Two teams will qualify for the tournament from the group. Ghana now remain with only two fixtures against Kenya at home and Ethiopia away.
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