Lausanne (AFP) – Bolivia will have to forfeit two 2018 World Cup qualifiers for fielding an ineligible player after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal on Tuesday.
The decision by CAS in Lausanne means the country can no longer qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Bolivia played defender Nelson Cabrera for the qualifiers against Chile and Peru last year, but despite having gained Bolivian nationality, FIFA found him to be ineligible after playing a friendly in 2007 for Paraguay, his country of birth.
Both matches will go down as 3-0 losses for Bolivia, after they had originally beaten Peru 2-0 and held Copa America champions Chile to a 0-0 draw.
South American qualifying sees the top four teams in the 10-strong table book their World Cup places automatically.
The failure of Bolivia’s appeal has large ramifications above them in the table, as Chile’s extra two points move them into the fourth and final automatic spot, one point above 2014 World Cup runners-up Argentina.
Whoever finishes fifth will face a play-off against the winner of the Oceania final in September between New Zealand and the Solomon Islands.
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