CONCACAF came out with a strong response early Friday morning to French Guiana’s decision to break the rules and play Florent Malouda Tuesday evening in the Gold Cup.
The CONCACAF disciplinary committee announced that the match between French Guiana and Honduras, which finished as a scoreless draw on the night, would be forfeited by French Guiana, awarding Honduras a 3-0 result.
In addition, French Guiana was fined an undisclosed amount and the 37-year-old Malouda was assessed a two-match stadium ban.
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“As a consequence of fielding Florent Malouda, who was confirmed by the Disciplinary Committee to be ineligible to play in the Gold Cup 2017 according to the applicable regulations, the Disciplinary Committee has levied sanctions and fines against the French Guiana Football League (LGF) and has suspended the player ruled ineligible,” CONCACAF said in a statement.
Malouda of course earned 80 caps for the French National Team during a long career in Europe where he starred for Lyon and Chelsea, but began playing for his native French Guiana earlier this year, captaining the side to third place at the Caribbean Cup, which served as a qualifying tournament for the Gold Cup.
For whatever reason, CONCACAF allowed Malouda to compete for French Guiana in that competition but has decided to honor FIFA rules, which say a player cannot switch international teams once they’ve played in an official FIFA match, at the Gold Cup, which ruled Malouda ineligible for the Gold Cup. Normally FIFA rules don’t apply to French Guiana because the nation, an overseas department of France, is not a member of FIFA.
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At the same time, Malouda was allowed to be registered on the French Guiana roster, placed on the starting lineup and take the field, even though the game was almost surely going to be forfeited.
The strange situation has perhaps met its end, with French Guiana now with no chance of advancing to the knockout round of the Gold Cup with two losses through its first two games against Canada and Honduras.
French Guiana wraps up the group stage against Costa Rica on Friday evening.