FIFA orders Equatorial Guinea forfeit qualifiers

FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

ZURICH, Switzerland — Equatorial Guinea must forfeit two World Cup qualifying matches with 3-0 default losses for fielding ineligible Spanish-born forward Emilio Nsue.

FIFA said Friday that its appeals panel rejected the Equatorial Guinea federation’s request to retain its 4-3 win against Cape Verde Islands in March, when Nsue scored three goals.

In addition, FIFA’s disciplinary committee has amended Cape Verde Islands’ 2-1 victory in June to a 3-0 win because Nsue played again.

The amended results lift Cape Verde Islands to within two points of group leader Tunisia. They play in the final match in Tunisia on Sept. 7.

Equatorial Guinea federation was also ordered to pay fines totalling 42,000 Swiss francs ($44,700), FIFA said.

FIFA did not specify why the 23-year-old Nsue, a former Spain youth international who plays for Mallorca, should not have played.

Ineligible player issues have littered the current round of African qualifying for the World Cup.

Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Sudan and Togo have also forfeited results for administrative errors.

When Equatorial Guinea hosted Cape Verde Islands in Malabo, none of its starting lineup was born there. FIFA allows players to represent a country if a parent or grandparent was born in the territory.

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