Cape Verde Suspended from World Cup Play-Off for Fielding Suspended Player; Tunisia Go Through Instead

FIFA today announced that Cape Verde have been suspended from their World Cup qualifying play-off for fielding a suspended player. As a result, FIFA has awarded Tunisia a 3-0 victory, and now Tunisia will go through to the play-off match instead of Cape Verde.

Originally, Cape Verde had trailed Tunisia by six points with three matches to play. But Cape Verde shocked the football world by winning all three matches to qualify for CAF’s final qualifying round, which was capped by a 2-0 victory in Tunisia this past weekend on September 7.

After Tunisia lost the game, their national team coach resigned.

But today the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to sanction Cape Verde for fielding an ineligible player in the game between Tunisia and Cape Verde Islands.

FIFA said:

“The match has been declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favor of Tunisia, meaning that the Cape Verde Islands will not progress to round three of the FIFA World Cup African zone qualifiers having dropped to second place in Group B with nine points while Tunisia finish first with 14 points and will now advance.

“The sanction relates to the Cape Verde player Fernando Varela failing to serve the full four-match suspension imposed on him after receiving a red card for unsporting conduct towards a match official during a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 24 March 2013.”

Varela played the entire 90 minutes for Cape Verde against Tunisia.

FIFA added that the draw for round three of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the African zone will be conducted next Monday, September 16.


  1. Pakapala September 12, 2013
  2. Mesfin Abiye September 13, 2013
  3. Pakapala September 13, 2013

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