Bolivia have appealed against FIFA’s decision to dock them World Cup qualifying points for fielding Paraguayan-born defender Nelson Cabrera.
A 2-0 victory over Peru on September 1 and 0-0 draw with Chile five days later were expunged from the records this month, with Bolivia’s opponents awarded 3-0 wins instead. The Bolivian Football Association (FBF) was also handed a fine of 12,000 Swiss francs (US$12,250).
Cabrera has played for Bolivian club Bolivar since 2012 and made his Bolivia debut in a friendly against the United States in May 2016 – after winning a cap for Paraguay in 2007 – and represented the country at the Copa America Centenario in June.
However, his participation in two 2018 World Cup qualifiers was found to be “in breach of the rules on eligibility to play for representative teams set out in the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes”.
But confirming its intention to appeal in a statement, the FBF said: “FIFA never investigated or acted of its own accord, but rather by request and at the instances of the parties that demanded sanctions.
“[FIFA] benefited them with points and goals which they never obtained in the sporting contest.”
In their subsequent four qualifiers, Bolivia have suffered 5-0 defeats to Brazil and Venezuela while drawing 2-2 with Ecuador and beating Paraguay 1-0. They are second-bottom of the CONMEBOL qualifying group with seven points.