FIFA has handed one-game bans to five Uzbekistan players for deliberately picking up yellow cards in a World Cup 2014 qualifying match at home to Tajikistan in November last year.
Having already clinched advancement to the fourth round of Asian qualifying, five players went into the game against Tajikstan knowing that their next caution would incur a one-match suspension. After Uzbekistan went 2-0 up, the five were shown yellow cards for time-wasting during the last 20 minutes of the game, meaning they would serve their suspensions in the meaningless final third-round match against Japan.
But FIFA was alerted to their actions and announced that the players would serve additional one-match suspensions for the first game of the fourth round and fined them $3,270 piece.
Uzbekistan has never qualified for the World Cup.