FIFA bans Equatorial Guinea from 2019 Women’s World Cup


FIFA. (Steffen Schmidt/AP)

ZURICH — FIFA expelled Equatorial Guinea from the 2019 Women’s World Cup for using fake documents and selecting at least 10 ineligible players in its Olympic team.

Two more Equatorial Guinea players will serve 10-match international bans for using "forged and falsified documents" to claim nationality, FIFA said on Thursday.

Equatorial Guinea’s soccer federation was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($102,000) by FIFA. The small, oil-rich country on Africa’s west coast has been implicated in trying to buy soccer success by enticing foreign players, mostly from Brazil.

In a previous related case, FIFA banned Equatorial Guinea’s women from the 2020 Olympic qualifying program. That decision related to a Brazil-born player who had two passports and two birth certificates with personal details that did not match.

Further FIFA investigations revealed 10 more ineligible players picked for 2016 Olympic qualifying games, and two forgery cases.

Equatorial Guinea soccer officials have also appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a ban by the Confederation of African Football from two editions of the Women’s African Cup of Nations. The 2018 tournament, being hosted by Ghana, is Africa’s qualifying tournament for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

Equatorial Guinea’s women’s team was also disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics for fielding an ineligible player. A two-time African champion, it last won the title in 2012.

The men’s national team was stripped by FIFA of a victory in World Cup qualifying in 2013 when none of its starting lineup was born in Equatorial Guinea.

FIFA allows players to represent a country if they have lived in the country continuously for a period of time, or a parent or grandparent was born there.

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