June 24 – Nicaragua have had their appeal to be allowed back into the Concacaf Fold Cup 2023, that opens today in Chicago, denied by the Concacaf Appeals Committee.
Nicaragua have also had the decision to relegate them to League B of the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League confirmed.
To readmit Nicaragua back into the Gold Cup at this stage would have been chaotic, and would have required a major revision of the teams qualified following Nicaragua’s removal.
Concacaf said “its Appeals Committee has considered an appeal submitted by the Nicaraguan Football Federation. This follows the sanctions imposed by the Concacaf Disciplinary Committee for a severe violation of the applicable FIFA/Concacaf regulations by fielding an ineligible player in eight Nicaragua Men’s National Team matches, including matches in the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League (CNL).”
Nicaragua would have played in the first round of matches June 25 against one of the preliminary round qualifiers. Instead Trinidad and Tobago were promoted from the premlinary round qualifiers directly into the group stages and Antigua took their spot in the knock-out rounds. Trinidad open against qualifiers St Kitts and Nevis tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale. The US and Jamaica kick off their group tonight.
The decision to kick Nicaragua (FENIFUT) out was made by the Concacaf Disciplinary Committee..
The ineligible player is Richard Rodriguez, a midfielder born in Uruguay, who has become a citizen of Nicaragua after moving to the country to play for Real Esteli. FIFA rules state a naturalised player has to live in a country for five years before they can play for that country.
Rodriguez had not done that before debuting for Nicaragua in 2019 and was still not eligible prior to playing in this season’s Nations League tournament. He has 19 caps for Nicaragua.
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