CAPE VERDE WORLD CUP DREAMS SHUTTERED
By: Siyabonga Ngcobo
FIFA has shut down hopes of Cape Verde Islands to play in the last round of qualifying games for the 2014 World Cup after finding the team guilty of fielding an ineligible player.
Last Saturday, Cape Verde topped Group B after defeating Tunisia 2-0. But that victory turned to be in vain after FIFA’s verdict was against them because they fielded defender Fernando Varela.
Fernando had been handed a four-match ban for unsporting conduct in March in a match against Equatorial Guinea.
In a statement FIFA released on Thursday, the football federation said, “The match has been declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Tunisia, meaning that the Cape Verde Islands will not progress to round three of the FIFA
World Cup African zone qualifiers.”
It is an irony for Cape Verde to be disqualified this way because in their game against Equatorial Guinea the same rule was applied and Equatorial Guinea suffered the same fate.
Besides the expulsion, FIFA’s penalty against Cape Verde goes on to cost the team 6,000 Swiss Francs ($6 400) which they will have to pay.
This rule has been broken a couple of times during some of the previous games. Among other teams that were affected by it, it’s Ethiopia which went through a whole of a needle as they had to make sure they win their game against CAR to qualify for the next round. Ethiopia fielded a player who was suspended and they also lost three points.
Tunisia will take part in the last round of the World Cup qualifying games with the likes of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Ethiopia.
The draw for round three of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the African zone will be conducted next Monday, 16 September.