Nigeria In Trouble As FIFA Withdraws Points From Last World Cup Qualifying Match

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Nigeria In Trouble As FIFA Withdraws Points From Last World Cup Qualifying Match

  • Algeria awarded 3 points

  • Consequence for Nigeria’s World Cup run

  • NFF fined N2,179,740 (CHF 6,000)



Nigeria have been penalized by world football governing body, FIFA for fielding an ‘ineligible’ player during it’s last World Cup qualifying match against Algeria.

BlackBox Nigeria gathered that FIFA had earlier on Tuesday sanctioned the Nigerian Football Federation for fielding Abdullahi Shehu who had earlier been yellow carded twice and was supposed to be on suspension.

The NFA was fined CHF 6,000 (about N2,179,740) while the possible three points from the match have also been awarded to Algeria. Nigeria had earlier played a draw with the North African side.

There is however little worry for Nigerian football lovers as the penalty doesn’t stop the country from appearing at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Nigeria had earlier qualified for the competition before their final match so the game against Algeria was inconsequential to their run.

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,” FIFA’s statement read.

See below for all the FACTS you need to know…

1. ABDULAHI SHEHU got yellow card right from first match (preliminary rounds) of the qualifiers against Swaziland in Swaziland.

2. When the draws for group stage were made the technical staff assumed the cards from preliminaries would not count going forward and didn’t take proper records. Indeed throughout the qualifying series Adullahi Shehu has never been counted as on yellow even by the match documents such as when we played Cameroon Mikel, Moses and Balogun were all put on notice that they are on a yellow and so there was even a meeting before the game how to make their yellow cards so as not to miss the decisive next match but Abdullahi Shehu was never in the mix…

3. Abdullahi got yellow card from the penultimate match against Zambia which is two years since the first match where he got the first Yellow (note we played the preliminary rounds against Swaziland in November 2015 Under Oliseh and played the Zambia match in November 2017).

4. FIFA sent notice after the match against Zambia that Shehu is suspended for Algeria match but sent the email directly to the Technical Officer-in-Charge whom incidentally was hospitalized at that period with a serious heart problem so was not on line and couldn’t have seen it.

5. On match day against Algeria neither the match Commissioner was aware nor the away team and Abdullahi played the match without any protest or notice from either side.

6. Algerian never protested as they too are not aware but FIFA sent NFF a query to ask why the player played. NFF duly responded with proofs that the notice was sent to an email account of a technical staff that was Hospitalized with proofs. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee met and decided since previous emails has always been sent to same account and were taken so the notice is valid and sanctioned Nigeria..

7. Yes it’s a really a bad mistake but it’s not costly and NFF is already reorganizing the Technical and Competitions departments to ensure this horrendous mistake never happened again as this mistake is clearly the lack of diligence of the Technical department and the Competitions departments.

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