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Bolivia forfeits two World Cup qualifiers due to ineligible player

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South American World Cup qualifying received a major shakeup on Tuesday due to an ineligible player.

FIFA announced on Tuesday that Bolivia will forfeit two matches after fielding an ineligible player in a pair of September qualifiers against Chile and Peru. Bolivia defeated Peru, 2-0, while tying Chile, 0-0, but will no forfeit the two matches by identical 3-0 scorelines.

The points lift Chile to a tie with Argentina in fifth place, a position that qualifies for a playoff against an Oceania team.

The player in question was Nelson Cabrera, who entered as a substitute for Bolivia in both matches. The defender previously played for Paraguay’s national team.

6 comments
  • KungFuSoccer

    How does this even happen? Isn’t there a very specific process of transferring between federations, where it’s black and white clear who you are eligible for?

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  • johnnyrazor

    He started against the US in the warm up friendly. According to wikipedia he played in one friendly for Paraguay almost ten years ago, so it must be a case of not filing the correct paper work. He also played in two Copa America games.

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      • johnnyrazor

        One match nine years ago, I doubt too many people remembered around the region. Maybe somebody from Chile complained. I doubt it was Paraguay because it hurts them in the standings.

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  • johnnyrazor

    Apparently, Bolivia allows citizenship after 3 years of residence which Cabrera met so he got his Bolivian passport. What the Bolivian Federation failed to realize was that FIFA still required 5 years of residency for naturalized citizens even if the country required less.

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