Fifa Cancels Nigeria v Algeria World Cup Qualifier, Fines NFF for Fielding Ineligible Player
World football governing body FIFA has dropped its hammer on Nigeria by cancelling the Super Eagles’ last World Cup qualifying match with Algeria and awarding all three points to the North Africans.
Having punched a ticket for the World Cup with a game to spare, the Eagles played a 1-1 draw with the Fennec Foxes of Algeria in Constantine in a Group B dead rubber.
The result meant Nigeria completed the qualification series unbeaten as they clinched a sixth World Cup ticket.
But with the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee that defender Shehu Abdullahi was ineligible for the game having picked up two prior bookings, the Eagles have been stripped of the point, with all three points and three goals awarded to the hosts.
Furthermore, a fine of $6000 was slammed on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, for the breach, which now puts a dent on Nigeria’s flawless qualifying record, even if it doesn’t affect the country’s participation at the Mundial in Russia next year.
Making the announcement, FIFA said:
“The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November 2017. The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Algeria, with the NFF also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000. The sanction relates to the player Abdullahi Shehu failing to serve the automatic one-match suspension imposed on him as a result of receiving a caution in two separate matches of the same competition.
“This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria eliminated) before the match took place.”
Nigeria have been drawn in Group D of the World Cup alongside two-time winners Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.
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