ZURICH: Equatorial Guinea’s captain Emilio Nsue, who was the top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations in February, has been handed a six-month ban by FIFA with his country also penalised for fielding him while ineligible.

A statement from the world football federation said its disciplinary committee was satisfied that Nuse had been ineligible for 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Liberia last November. Both were  declared forfeit by a score of 3-0. The assocation was also fined 150,000 Swiss francs.

Nsue and FEGUIFUT can appeal.

This is not the first time Equatorial Guinea have been punished over Nsue. In 2013, the country was sanctioned for using him in two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde.

Nsue was a key player for Equatorial Guinea as they reached the Round of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and emerged as the top scorer at the tournament with five goals.

He fell out with the FEGUIFUT after the tournament and later accused the association of corruption over incidents which led to his own suspension and that of midfielder Ivan Edu Salvador.

FIFA statement:

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has rendered its decisions in relation to proceedings opened against both the Equatorial Guinean Football Association (FEGUIFUT) and the player Emilio Nsue López with regards to the latter’s participation in several matches of the national team of Equatorial Guinea, including two matches in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition, despite being ineligible.

After considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee was comfortably satisfied that the player was ineligible and consequently decided to declare the matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition in which the player was fielded (namely Equatorial Guinea v. Namibia and Liberia v. Equatorial Guinea played on 15 November 2023 and 20 November 2023, respectively) lost by forfeit by Equatorial Guinea (by a score of 3-0).

In addition, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed the following sanctions:

  • a fine amounting to CHF 150,000 upon FEGUIFUT; and
  • a six-month ban from playing for any representative team of any association upon the player Emilio Nsue López.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s findings were notified today to the parties concerned. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the parties have ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The present decisions remain subject to an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.