ZURICH: Zimbabwe have been kicked out of the 2018 World Cup with qualifying competition just one day old writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The disciplinary committee of world federation FIFA has punished the embattled ZIFA because of its failure, as established by the players’ status committee all the way back in April 2013, to pay former national coach Valinhos (full name José Claudinei Georgini).

ZIFA was granted a 60-day period to settle half of its debt to the coach and a 120-day period to settle the remainder of the debt. Failure, it was warned, would lead to a further disciplinary review.

The Zimbabweans ignored the warning, failed to pay, were set a final 60-day deadline and warned that World Cup participation was at risk.

ZIFA, which has struggled with a long-running national team matchfixing scandal, did not react and thus the World Cup expulsion was enacted.

Valinhos, 67, coached Zimbabwe between January and December 2008.

The 2018 World Cup qualifiers opened hours earlier with a 2-0 victory by East Timor over Mongolia.

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