April 11 - Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medalists Cameroon will not be competing at London 2012 after crashing out of the African Confederation's first round of preliminary qualifiers.
The Indomitable Lions had won the first leg of their clash with Tanzania 2-1, but lost the second game by the same score before being eliminated 4-3 on penalties after extra time failed to produce a winner.
The defeat is a huge blow to Cameroon, who qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they lost at the quarter-final stage to Brazil.
It means that the winners of the last three Olympics will be absent from London 2012 after Argentina, the 2004 and 2008 gold medallists, were knocked-out in the South American qualifying tournament.
Ghana will also be a notable absentee from the Games after falling to defeat in Sudan, which is particularly surprising given the success they have enjoyed in recent years.
Having reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa last year, where they lost on penalties to Uruguay in controversial circumstances, they also finished as runners up in the 2010 African Cup of Nations to Egypt.
But their crowning glory was a victory with only ten men against Brazil in the under-20 World Cup in 2009.
With the likes of Marseille's Andre Ayew and Dominic Adiyiah of Partizan Belgrade, the Black Stars had been tipped for gold at London in 2012, but a 1-1 draw in Khartoum against Sudan, after having lost the first leg 1-0, means their dream of Olympic glory is over for another four years.
Ghana, who were the first African team to win medals at an Olympic Games at Barcelona 1992 when they claimed the bronze, were suffering from fatigue, according to coach David Duncan.
African Nations Cup holders Egypt also suffered a scare.
Having won the first leg of their tie with Bostwana 2-0, they fell behind in the return by the same score before a late goal from Mohsen Marwan took the Egyptians through.
But Atlanta 1996 Olympic champions Nigeria faced fewer problems as they brushed aside Equatorial Guinea 9-1 on aggregate with 5-0 and 4-1 wins respectively.
Algeria completed a 4-0 aggregate success against Madagascar with a 1-0 win in their second leg, whilst Tunisia overcame Malawi 3-0 after their clashes.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, looking to capitalise on the success of their club game after TP Mazembe's surprising run to the final of the 2010 World Club Cup, brushed aside the challenge of Burkino Faso 5-2.
Benin, Congo, Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia have also qualified for the next round of qualifiers.
Due to the violence which engulfed Ivory Coast in recent weeks, their qualifier with Liberia, which the war-torn country lead 4-0 from the first leg, will be concluded on April 20.
The second round draw will take place on Wednesday (April 13), with teams seeded according to FIFA rankings and paired into eight two legged ties.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2011: Messi and double Olympic champions Argentina to miss London 2012