ZURICH — Barbados has been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament for fielding an ineligible player, giving beaten opponent Aruba a reprieve to advance instead.
FIFA ordered Barbados on Monday to forfeit its 1-0 win against Aruba in the second leg of its CONCACAF second-round match on June 14. Barbados won the first leg 2-0.
With Aruba awarded a 3-0 second-leg victory by default, it now advances 3-2 on aggregate.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee ruled that Barbados fielded Hadan Holligan who should have served a one-match ban for receiving yellow cards in two previous games. The 18-year-old Holligan scored the only goal in the June 14 match.
FIFA also ordered the Barbados football association to pay a fine of 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,470).
"The sanction will have immediate effect and as a consequence Aruba will now qualify for the next round," FIFA said in a statement.
Aruba advances to the 12-team third round of CONCACAF qualifying which is played between Aug. 31 and Sept. 8. The six pairings will be drawn on July 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The winners will advance to a fourth-round group stage where the highest-ranked CONCACAF nations enter.
Barbados becomes the first ineligible player case of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
In the 2014 qualifying program, FIFA ordered nine African matches defaulted because of ineligible players.