(WFI) Bolivia is trying to make its path to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup easier with two appeals submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding an ineligible player.
The FIFA Disciplinary Chamber found in October 2016 that Nelson Cabrera was not an eligible player for Bolivia’s national team. Cabrera played in FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Peru (a 2-0 win) and Chile (a 0-0 draw). The four points earned by Bolivia were taken away, with both Peru and Chile being awarded 3-0 wins by forfeit as a result of the disqualification.
The FIFA Appeals Committee did not overturn the ruling, causing the BFF to take its appeal to CAS. FIFA determined that Paraguayan-born Cabrera was ineligible to play for Bolivia during the September 2016 matches.
The South American World Cup Qualifying Group relies on a decision in this matter to determine which teams will make it to Russia. Of the 10 teams in the region, four automatically qualify for the World Cup while the fifth goes to an international playoff.
The two points transferred to Chile in the FIFA decision bumps the country into an automatic qualifier position in fourth place at this stage, leading rivals Argentina and Colombia by one and two points, respectively.
Peru, with the additional three points, sits in eighth, one place above Bolivia. Bolivia is seeking its first World Cup berth since 1994.
Mayne-Nicholls Seeks Further Ban Reduction
Former evaluation chairman of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups Harold Mayne-Nicholls is trying to clear his name and rejoin the football world.
Mayne-Nicholls was banned from all football-related activities for three years by the FIFA Appeal Committee in April 2016 for his role in securing internships for relatives in Qatar during his evaluation visits of the future World Cup host.
The ban was a reduction of the original seven-year ban given by the FIFA Ethics Committee in 2015 after being found guilty of asking for numerous favors from the Qataris. Among the requests were work opportunities for his son and nephew at the Aspire Academy in Doha.
The former Chilean Football Association president is now seeking an annulment of the decisions taken by world football’s governing bodies.
According to the Associated Press, the CAS hearing could be the first instance that evidence from former FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia’s investigation into World Cup bidding contests is tested in a court outside of FIFA.
The Garcia Report has led to bans of numerous former FIFA officials but none have made it to CAS thus far. His appeal hearing before CAS is likely to be scheduled within the next few months.
By INSIDER Kevin Nutley
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