Cape Verde Islands have been removed from Africa's World Cup qualification play-off draw by FIFA for fielding an ineligible player.
The tiny island side pulled off something of a giant killing, beating group leaders Tunisia 0-2 on Saturday, to advance to the final stages of qualifying for 2014's World Cup in Brazil.
However it turns out that Cape Verde fielded an ineligible player during that match, meaning they forfeit the game, handing Tunisia a 3-0 win and first place in Group B which puts them through to the final qualifying stage.
The player in question is Fernando Varela who was supposed to be serving part of a four-match suspension imposed on him after receiving a red card in a qualifier against Equatorial Guinea in March.
The issue was flagged up after a formal complaint to FIFA by Tunisia who will now enter the 10-team playoff which decides Africa’s five representatives in Brazil next year.
Cape Verde, whose population is just half a million, have never before qualified for a World Cup Finals.
It looked as though Cape Verde were on the verge of an even greater achievement than their first ever qualification to the African Cup of Nations Finals last year.
The ensuing tournament in January of this year then saw them advance to the quarter-finals, not losing in the group stages, before being knocked out by Ghana.
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