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Friday, July 5, 2013

Update on FIFA's sanctions

FIFA announced sanctions against Ethiopia and Togo. Both will lose their matches (against Botswana and Cameroon respectively) 3 - 0. However, the decisions are not yet final and binding (according to an e-mail from FIFA).

As you can see, the results (Group A and Group I) are not changed yet.

Cameroon also managed to get suspended.

For the July ranking I already used the awarded results, because both Ethiopia and Togo have announced they won't be appealing.

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Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. Amazing how many countries in Africa are falling foul of the rules. I don't remember there ever being so many matches being awarded as this before!

    1. Yes, it's turning into a bit of a farce. Some groups (and subsequently eventual qualifiers) will now most likely be decided by administrators rather than footballers. It's a shame as it doesn't really help the image of African football generally.

    2. Okay, so I'm trying to come to terms with the impact of these 3 events.

      Ethiopia loses 3 grp pts, so now RSA has the chance to catch them for 1st in group A. (ETH will have 10 pts, RSA 8, and BOT 7.)

      Togo loses 3 pts to drop to 1 pt, CMR rises to 10 pts to lead group I, surpassing LBY's 9 pts. COD sits at 6 pts. However, with CMR's suspension, does CMR not play the September matches? Are all of their group matches to this point thrown out? How are things to be decided in group I?


  2. :( Libya had an outside chance. Now, they probably don't. They now need an away win. That tie at home to Congo cost them dearly. As to Cameroon's suspension keeping them from playing the September game, Cameroon's been an African mainstay for such a long time, I expect that things will get worked out before September. These sorts of interference suspensions usually get worked out right before it matters.

    I wonder when the results will be updated on the qualifiers page.

  3. The results have been changed now on

  4. In addition: last friday FIFA has awarded both World Cup qualifiers between Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde to the latter:
    24/3/13 EQG-CPV 0:3 (originally 4:3)
    8/6/13 CPV-EQG 3:0 (originally 2:1)

    As a result of these decisions Tunisia is not yet qualified for the CAF WCQ play-offs. They now need at least a draw in their last home match against Cape Verde early September.

    And another CAF qualifying group with a changed perspective, thanks to some sloppy FA-officials and FIFA just doing their job. That's 7 awarded matches in CAF qualifying already, amazing !

    1. Could you imagine if a team accidentally fielded an ineligible player in a match with San Marino? :D

    2. 7 awarded matches ?!?! that's a shame for the qualification in caf.

    3. Lorric, we can agree that the resulting position of San Marino in the ranking (probably around spot 150) would give a quite distorted view of their true strength.
      That's why I think awarded matches should not count anymore for the ranking, with the exception of the case when the decision does not alter the final result (like the CPV-EQG match of June 8th).

      Look at what's happening to Cape Verde in the August ranking: they jump with the free extra 78 FIFA points from 49 (their best ranking to date already) to a new high of somewhere around 37 !

      Daniel: surely a shame for the officials of certain FA's. These things are easily avoided if someone pays a little more attention to their administration.

  5. Ed,

    suppose Belgium plays Croatia in october. the 2 best players from Croatia got a red card in the game before Croatia-Belgium.

    Suppose the situation is like this: Belgium can be seeded if they win, Croatia gets seeded if they don't lose.

    Croatia decides to field the 2 players who got a red card: if they lose, it doesn't matter anyway, if they win/draw, Belgium can't get seeded according to your proposal. Would create too many extra problems, even if it solved your (real) problem.

    I'd suppose something else: FIFA holds a database of all eligible players (>U17/18), daily up to date. Local federations have to enter the "may qualify for national team"-players on a regular basis. Teams have to hand over their selection of players 5 days before the interland to FIFA. FIFA does a last check and contacts both countries in case of a problem. If there's a problem, player can't play unless the team convinces FIFA or the opposing team otherwise.

    In case FIFA is eventually wrong, there's a financial compensation, depending on the importance of the game, nothing else. Doing so, any player is "covered" by FIFA, and FIFA can construct a database of any official game being played, to avoid the discussion of player A has already played for country B or not.

    1. Jeroen,

      playing with a non-eligible player is just one of many reasons why a match can be awarded. Italy-Serbia (12/10/2010) was suspended after 7 minutes of football due to crowd disturbances and later awarded 3:0 to Italy. Singapore-Palestine (28/10/2007) was awarded 3:0 to Singapore without even playing because of a no-show of the Palestinians. Both awarded results counted for the ranking.

      The principle is that both the original result (if any) and the assigned result of an awarded match are not 'fairly on the pitch' established results of the match. And that should be enough reason to exclude the match from the ranking calculation. (please, I don't want a discussion about what to do with match-results grossly influenced by a bad referee :)

      Of course, every rule leads to someone inventing ways to gain an advantage of it or misuse it to disadvantage others. So be it, that's apparently human.

      In your example (where the ranking plays a role in the seeding of the final draw) I would gladly see Croatia punished with all means available: the awarded result of course incorporated in the group standings and, in case Croatia eventually qualifies via the play-offs, no seeding for them, but instead for Belgium, the disadvantaged party.

      There are ways to deal with these kind of unforeseen, unsportsmanlike actions:
      Matters not provided for in these regulations or cases of force majeure shall be decided by the FIFA Organising Committee (art. 49 from the WC-regulations).
      FIFA uses this article to delay the proper definition of the seeding procedure of the final draw in advance. Unseed Croatia and seed Belgium in your example could be just part of this 'proper' definition.

    2. When do you believe the seeding procedure will be provided: together with the October ranking?

      I have the feeling that even if according to the ranking 4 south-american sides (BRA,ARG,COL,URU) are supposed to be seeded, FIFA will change the rules "slightly" to force 3 SA and 5 European seeded teams.

    3. I expect the seeding procedure to be announced after all the qualified teams are known.