October 8, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – The world soccer’s governing body FIFA ruled today against Sudan in the complaint submitted by Zambia which alleges that the former used an ineligible player during their 2014 World Cup qualifier match last June.
- Sudan National Football Team (Reuters)
Sudan won the game 2-0 which saw the participation of Saif Ali whom the FIFA now determined that he shouldn’t have been allowed to play because he has received yellow cards in previous matches. Ironically Ali scored the second goal in that match in question.
FIFA declared the match "lost by forfeit by Sudan" and awarded Zambia a 3-0 victory and with it the three points for a win. It also fined The Sudan Football Association (SFA) the equivalent of $6,430.
The decision deals Sudan’s hope of qualifying a severe blow as Zambia now leads Group D with six points after two matches. Sudan now retreats to third place with one point. Only the group winners go into next round of play-offs.
The SFA has sought to downplay Zambia’s protest asserting that it was submitted past the deadline stipulated by the FIFA. Sudan suggested at the time that the worst case scenario would be for the FIFA to fine them without altering the match’s outcome.
However SFA’s head Muatassim Ja’afar also slammed country’s media for making Zambia aware of the player’s participation and prompting the lodging of the complaint. He called this "unpatriotic" on the part of the Sudanese media.