Cape Verde eliminated after FIFA sanction for ineligible player


FIFA announced that it has overturned Cape Verde’s 2-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday, turning it into a forfeit and 3-0 Tunisia win because defender Fernando Varela (pictured, No. 3) had not served a full suspension before playing in the game. The new result reverses the teams’ places in the standings, meaning Tunisia will participate in the playoff round.

Cape Verde has also been fined 6,000 Swiss francs (about $6,500) by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. In July, FIFA also sanctioned Ethiopia, Togo and Equatorial Guinea for similar offenses in what has been a bizarre summer for African nations fielding ineligible players.

Ethiopia’s Minyahile Teshome Beyene failed to serve an automatic one-game suspension for receiving two yellow cards in the competition, as did Togo’s Jacques Alaixys Romao. Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue López played in two matches while he was ineligible.

In all cases, opposing teams in the matches concerned were awarded 3-0 forfeit victories.