The Confederation of African Football (CAF) voted Thursday to admit Zanzibar as a full member of the continental body at its annual meeting in Ethiopia.
The semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania was considered an associate member of CAF until member states unanimously approved its full membership.
￼“This is great… for Zanzibar and African football,” Zanzibar Football Association President Ravia Idarous Faina told delegates after the vote held at African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
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.