Bolivia to appeal FIFA’s sanction docking World Cup qualifying points

Bolivia were docked four points for fielding Paraguayan-born Nelson Cabrera in their teams for the South American qualifiers.

By: Reuters | Published:November 17, 2016 1:33 pm
bolivia, bolivia football, bolivia world cup qualifiers, bolivia inelligible player, football news, sports news Bolivia’s National football federation said that FIFA didn’t investigate the situation and acted on the basis of requests from other parties. (Source: File)

Bolivia have appealed FIFA’s sanction of docked points in the World Cup race for fielding an ineligible player in two qualifiers.

FIFA handed Chile and Peru 3-0 walkover wins in a Nov. 1 decision after Bolivia included Paraguayan-born Nelson Cabrera in their teams for the South American qualifiers.

Bolivia beat Peru 2-0 in La Paz on Sept. 1 then held Chile to a 0-0 draw in Santiago five days later.

“FIFA never investigated or acted of its own accord, but rather by request and at the instances of the parties that demanded sanctions,” Bolivia’s nation federation FBF said in a statement.

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“(FIFA) benefitted them with points and goals which they never obtained in the sporting contest.”

Chile recovered two points and Peru three while Bolivia were docked four.

The FBF said FIFA’s ruling “also affects other federations not involved in the litigation, increasing the injustice of the decision.”

Chile’s two points saw them leapfrog Argentina in the 10-team group standings.

After Tuesday’s latest round of qualifiers, Chile are fourth, in one of the automatic qualifying berths.

Fifth-placed Argentina would have to compete in an intercontinental playoff for one more berth at the Russia finals if they hold their position.

Peru are eighth with 14 points and Bolivia are second-bottom with seven after 12 matches. There are six rounds remaining to be played next year.

Under FIFA rules, players can only compete for an adopted country if they have lived and played there for five years.

Cabrera played for Paraguay in a friendly, which would not have been a problem, but he only moved to Bolivia four years ago.