FIFA says Bolivia’s World Cup Qualifying points deduction is still in place

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November 4 – FIFA have denied a claim by the Bolivian football federation (FBF) that sanctions imposed for fielding an ineligible player have been lifted.

South American reports say FIFA have reversed its order on Bolivia to forfeit the World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Peru in September and has handed back four points. The ruling had the effect of lifting Chile above Argentina into fifth place in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

FBF president Rolando Lopez told reporters: “The country can remain absolutely at ease. The points have been returned to us, everything is as it should be.”

Lopez quoted a fax he said had been sent by FIFA allegedly telling the FBF to “dismiss the content of the decisions which were notified on November 1”.

The ruling, which relates to Paraguay-born defender Nelson Cabrera, can be challenged at FIFA’s appeal panel and at the Court of Arbitration for Sport but has not been revoked, FIFA insists.

“The sanction on Bolivia is maintained. The version circulating about the return of the points to Bolivia is incorrect,” world soccer’s governing body said on Twitter.

Under FIFA rules, players can only play for an adopted country if they have lived and played there for five years, and provided they have not featured in a competitive game for another national side. Cabrera played for Paraguay in a friendly, which would not have been a problem, but only moved to Bolivia four years ago.

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