Cape Verde has been disqualified from the African playoffs for the 2014 World Cup after fielding an ineligible player in Saturday’s group qualifier against Tunisia. FIFA ruled that
Fernando Verela should not have played in the island nation’s 2-0 win, deciding that Cape Verde be handed a 3-0 loss instead. The revised result placed Tunisia at the top of Group B
with 14 points, ahead of Cape Verde in second place with nine.
FIFA said Verela "failed to serve a four-match suspension imposed on him after receiving a red card for unsporting conduct towards a match official during a World Cup qualifier on 24 March." It also slapped the Cape Verde soccer federation with a $6,400 fine. With a population of just 505,000, Cape Verde would have been the smallest ever African national to play at the World Cup, had the Blue Sharks managed to qualify.
Tunisia will now replaces Cape Verde in the September 16 draw for the final round of playoffs. FIFA uses its rankings to seed the top five teams, out of a total of 10. Each seeded team will play a non-seeded team with the winner of each series qualifying for next summer’s World Cup. Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria and Tunisia are the seeds; Egypt, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Ethiopia are unseeded.