FIFA bans AFCON 2023 top scorer Nsue, strips Equatorial Guinea 6 points in WCQ - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Saturday, May 25, 2024

FIFA bans AFCON 2023 top scorer Nsue, strips Equatorial Guinea 6 points in WCQ

Equatorial Guinea will start their FIFA World Cup qualifiers from scratch after FIFA stripped them of their points thanks to Emilio Nsue.

In a major blow to Equatorial Guinea's 2026 World Cup qualification hopes, global football governing body FIFA has imposed harsh sanctions on the national team for fielding following a ban on Emilio Nsue.

The disciplinary committee at FIFA has ruled that striker Emilio Nsue was ineligible to play in Equatorial Guinea's first two matches of the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign. 

As a result, the football federation of Equatorial Guinea has been ordered to forfeit both of those games with a 3-0 scoreline.

Nsue, who was the top scorer at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with 5 goals, scored the winning goals for Equatorial Guinea in their opening qualifiers against Namibia and Liberia. 

However, FIFA's investigation has now determined that the 34-year-old was not eligible to represent his country in those fixtures.

In addition to the forfeited results, FIFA has also handed down a significant financial penalty to Equatorial Guinea per BBC. The football federation has been fined $164,000 for the violation of eligibility rules.

Equatorial Guinea's Emilio Nsue is the AFCON 2023 top scorer with 5 goals. (Photo Credit: Imago)
The most severe consequence, however, is the decision to strip Equatorial Guinea of the 6 points they had earned in the first two matches. 

This means the Nzalang Nacional will have to restart their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign from scratch, effectively nullifying their strong start in the group stage. 

This ruling is a major setback for Equatorial Guinea, who were previously sitting second in their qualifying group behind leaders Tunisia on goal difference. 

The loss of those valuable points could prove pivotal in their bid to secure a spot at the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Qualification to next stage

The ban on Emilio Nsue also comes as a personal blow to the striker, who was riding high after being crowned the top goalscorer at the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament. 

The 6-month suspension will keep him sidelined from international football for a significant period.

FIFA's harsh sanctions send a strong message about the importance of adhering to player eligibility rules in international competitions. 

Equatorial Guinea will now have to regroup and focus on the remainder of their qualifying campaign, knowing that they have been dealt a major setback in their quest to reach the 2026 World Cup.

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