By Olawale Alabi
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have lost three points in their 2018 World Cup qualifier. The loss came as FIFA gifted Algeria a 3-0 walk-over defeat of the Eagles, because Nigeria fielded an ineligible player in the match.
The fixture on Nov. 10 had ended 1-1, but FIFA on Tuesday added that the decision did not affect the final standings in African Qualifying Competition Group B.
It said the decision also did not affect Nigeria’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup in Russia, as they had finished six points clear of Zambia.
The player involved in the match played in Constantine was Shehu Abdullahi, and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000.
The sanction relates to Abdullahi 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.
FIFA, in a statement, also said East Timor had forfeited seven games in the World Cup qualifiers for fielding a total of nine players who were ineligible because of nationality.
This was based on a decision previously taken by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).