Here is why the Golden Boot winner at AFCON 2023 might change


Following a recent decision by the world football body, it is expected that the golden boot winner of AFCON 2023, might be subject to change.

In an official announcement by FIFA, it was confirmed that the Golden Boot winner at AFCON 2023, Emilio Nsue, has been banned from all football activities for the next six months.

What happened to AFCON's 2023 highest goalscorer?

Afcon Top Scorer suspension
Emilio Nsue

FIFA has imposed a six-month ban on Emilio Nsue, the striker for Equatorial Guinea, after finding him ineligible for his country's first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

As a result, Equatorial Guinea's initial two World Cup preliminaries will be forfeited 3-0, and the Equatorial Guinean federation (Feguifut) has been fined 150,000 Swiss francs ($164,000, £129,000).

Nsue, who was the top scorer at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, is prohibited from playing for any national team for six months. FIFA did not reveal further details about the decision on Nsue.

According to FIFA, all parties involved have 10 days to request a "motivated decision," and the sanctions can be appealed. Nsue had previously been deemed ineligible by FIFA in 2013 after his first two appearances for Equatorial Guinea in World Cup qualifiers.

He had also played several matches for Spain at the youth level, including participating in the Under-21 European Championship in 2011. Since then, he has become Equatorial Guinea's all-time leading scorer, having participated in qualifiers for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and featured in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Would the AFCON 2023 golden boot change?

With no official statement confirming or denying if the winner of AFCON 2023 highest goalscorer will change many cannot rule out the possibility of Emilio Nsue losing his award after he was found not eligible to even feature in the tournament as a whole.

The acknowledgement of FIFA's judgement by CAF could also affect Equatorial Guinea as a whole and also their chances of qualifying for the World Cup 2026.

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