October 6 – In a damaging blow to both the country itself and its regional African confederation, Equatorial Guinea have been kicked out of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France for fielding no fewer 10 ineligible Brazilian-born players during qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
FIFA has also imposed a fine of $102,000 on the country’s football association. Furthermore, Equatorial Guinea also fielded two players – one from Cameroon and one from Nigeria – with “forged and falsified” documents, both of whom have been given 10-match bans.
In a previous related case, FIFA banned Equatorial Guinea’s women from the 2020 Olympic qualifying programme. That decision related to a Brazil-born player who had two passports and two birth certificates with personal details that did not match.
Equatorial Guinea 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 has a history of transgression when it comes to trying to field ineligible players for its women’s team. The country was thrown of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics for the same offence while Equatorial Guinea FA vice-president Gustavo Ndong Edu was given a two-year ban by FIFA in 2016 for attempting to bribe match officials before an Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier against Mali.
In a statement on Thursday, FIFA’s disciplinary committee said its latest decision “comes as a result of further investigations” and seems highly likely to impact on Equatorial Guinea’s hopes of replacing Kenya as hosts of the men’s 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
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