Cape Verde out of World Cup qualifying

Cape Verde have been disqualified from the African play-offs for the 2014 World Cup for fielding an ineligible player in Saturday's group qualifier against Tunisia.

The Tunisians will now be in the draw on 16 September instead of Cape Verde.

Fifa ruled that Fernando Verela should not have played in his side's 2-0 win  as he had not completed a suspension.

Football's world governing body instead awarded Tunisia a 3-0 victory.

Revised Group B standings

  • Tunisia - 14 pts
  • Cape Verde - 9 pts
  • Sierra Leone - 8 pts
  • Eq Guinea - 2 pts

The decision means Tunisia finish top of Group B with 14 points, with Cape Verde second on nine points.

Fifa said Verela "failed to serve a four-match suspension imposed on him after receiving a red card for unsporting conduct towards a match official during a World Cup qualifier on 24 March".

Cape Verde Football Association has also been fined $6,400.

The Blue Sharks had caused a major upset with their victory in Rades on Saturday to edge ahead of Tunisia, who had only needed a draw to advance.

With a population of just 505,000 if the islanders had gone onto eventually qualify for Brazil next year they would have been the smallest ever African nation to play at the World Cup.

Ironically, Cape Verde were awarded the points from the match in March, when Varela was sent off, after Fifa ruled opponents Equatorial Guinea had used an ineligible player.

Equatorial Guinea originally won the match 4-3 only for the result to be overturned when Fifa decided Emilio Nsue Lopez did not meet eligibility rules on nationality.

Tunisia believed they had progressed to the play-offs in June after a 1-1 draw in Equatorial Guinea only to be denied by the sanctions imposed for the use of Nsue.