Honduras defeated French Guiana the moment Tuesday’s Gold Cup match kicked off, as Les Yana Dòkòs sacrificed at least a 3-0 score line in order to use an ineligible star.
CONCACAF ruled before the tournament that former French international Florent Malouda was ineligible to play in the Gold Cup, and French Guiana played along for its opening 4-2 loss to Canada.
But with its best chance for a win coming Tuesday against Honduras — Costa Rica is next — French Guiana decided to use longtime Chelsea and Lyon man Malouda and take the 3-0 loss on the table. Honduras wants to play the game because it can keep a better score line than 3-0 if the match plays out that way.
The match finished 0-0 on the field. It reads 3-0 to Honduras on the score sheet.
Section XV. A. of the Gold Cup regulations, as outlined on Fox’s broadcast, says:
Each participating member association shall select its national representative team from the best players who are nationals of its country and under its jurisdiction, and are eligible for selection in accordance with the provisions of the applicable FIFA regulations.
While the idea to put forth a better show on the international stage is laudable in some ways, the move really stings Canada and could also hurt the third place team in the other groups. The Canucks beat French Guiana 4-2, and have a plus-2 goal differential on the table. That’s one better than Costa Rica, but now Honduras and perhaps CRC will score at least 3-0 wins.
The winners and runners-up of Group B will avoid a group winner in the next round, while two of the three third-place teams will also advance. This result assures that third place in Group A will have no fewer than three points and could have as many as four.
We’d also expect some post-match or tourney punishment for French Guiana.