ZURICH: Burkina Faso have become the third African team to have World Cup qualifying points deducted for nationality cheating.
FIFA has awarded Congoa 3-0 win after a 0-0 draw in June in which Burkina Faso fielded Herve Zengue, a Cameroonian defender whom they have controversially continued to use despite repeated doubts over his eligibility.
The world federation’s disciplinary committee also fined the Burkina Faso FA 6,000 Swiss francs.
Namibia protested late last year that Burkina Faso’s use of Zengue in two 2012 African Nations Cup qualifying matches contravened rules on player eligibility.
They were seeking to be awarded the points from the games, which would have qualified them for the finals instead but they lost their protest and appeal at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a subsequent plea to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Zengue did not qualify to play for Burkina Faso because he was not born in the country, had no blood ties with and had never lived in Burkina Faso, the losing protest said.
Burkina Faso said they had given Zengue a passport because he was married to a Burkinabe woman.
FIFA’S decision follows a similar sanction for Gabon, who were found to have used an ineligible Cameroon-born player against Niger in June, and Sudan, who forfeited points for fielding a suspended player against Zambia.
CAF allowed Gabon to use defender Charly Moussono at the last Nations Cup, only for FIFA to find he had previously represented Cameroon in a Beach Soccer World Cup.
African football’s controlling body has turned a blind eye consistently to countries who import players to strengthen their national teams.
Togo used a group of Brazilians while Rwanda, Burundi and Mauritaniahave also been accused of giving passports to ineligible players so that they can field them in international matches.
Equatorial Guinea still have to be punished for filling their team with Brazilians, Cameroonians, Nigerians plus a player from the Cape Verde Islands.
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