Hopefuls to qualify from a tricky group that includes Harambee Stars, four-time continental champions Ghana and un-fancied Ethiopia will have to hold their breath a little longer on the fate of Sierra Leone.
This follows Caf revelation late on Wednesday that they will not make a decision on their suspension at least until December.
Ghana were due to face Sierra Leone yesterday and again on Monday but with the games shelved, a Caf spokesman said it would not allow the matches to be played later, even if the ban was lifted.
However, he said they would delay the decision on whether to award Ghana a 3-0 victory in each match or disqualify Sierra Leone, in which case their results would be expunged and three teams would be left in the group, with the top finishers advancing to next year’s finals.
Stars would be the biggest beneficiaries should the Sierra Leone results be removed as the West African nation had beaten them 2-1 in the opening group game.
That would obviously be refuted by the national team as it would seem a case of schadenfreude on a sporting opponent.
However, with a chance of reaching a first Africa Cup of Nations final in 15 years on the line, Kenyans who were due to fly back last evening, would welcome the move having lost to the west Africans. Should that be the case, both Ethiopia who beat Sierra and Ghana in particular will be downcast.
The first proposal will be received with glee in Accra and Kumasi as it would give the Black Stars six points without kicking a ball particularly after their loss toKenya and a final day decider due in March.
As it stands, without factoring in the suspension ramifications, Kenya lead the group with four points same as Ethiopia both having played three times after Wednesday goal-less but entertaining stalemate.
Ghana and Sierra Leone have a win each from two matches. Kenyans are expected to move straight to their Utalii Hotel base once they land from Ethiopia.
The Caf spokesman told Reuters that depending on if and when the ban was lifted, Sierra Leone could play their last two qualifiers against Kenya in November and Ethiopia in March.
On Tuesday, Fifa rejected a petition from the country to lift the ban because they did not meet a deadline to reinstate ousted Sierra Leone FA president Isha Johansen, who is accused of corruption by government officials.