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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria lose three points for using an unqualified player against Algeria

Nigeria Super Eagles
The Nigeria Football Federation was greeted with the unpleasant news of having their accumulated World Cup points reduced for fielding an unqualified player in their last group game against Algeria.

The player, Abdullahi Shehu was ineligible to play that game after having two accumulated yellow cards which should have seen him miss the game.

The game ended in a 1-1 pulsating draw after Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane awarded a dubious penalty to the Desert Warriors.

The good news for Nigeria is that, regardless of the points deduction, it will not affect their qualification to Russia as they will still be having 11 points, 3 more than second placed Zambia.

Algeria will be awarded 3 points, which will take their points accumulation to 5, after failing to win a game in the qualifiers on the field.

A FIFA statement on their website read:

“The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November 2017.

“The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Algeria, with the NFF also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000.

“The sanction relates to the player Abdullahi Shehu failing to serve the automatic one-match suspension imposed on him as a result of receiving a caution in two separate matches of the same competition.

This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria eliminated) before the match took place,” the statement read.

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