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French Guiana forfeit Honduras draw, Malouda suspended two matches

Photo by Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some controversy and confusion, CONCACAF has ruled against French Guiana in their Florent Malouda eligibility case.

In a press release, CONCACAF announced that French Guiana would forfeit their 0-0 draw against Honduras for fielding an ineligible player. The result will be changed to a 3-0 win in favor of Honduras, altering the shape of Group A entering the final matchday on Friday. In addition to the forfeit, the French Guiana Football League will be fined an undisclosed amount, and Florent Malouda will be suspended for two official matches which includes a full stadium ban.

Malouda appeared and played a full 90 minutes for French Guiana on Tuesday in the team’s 0-0 draw against Honduras. He played despite French Guiana knowing that Malouda was ineligible by FIFA rules after representing France at the international level over 80 times in his career. The team decided to take the risk knowing that a decision might go against them, and despite earning a solid draw, the official scoreline will show nothing but a 3-0 loss for their efforts.

The decision, while certainly the expected result, it was not without controversy. There was great debate after Malouda’s appearance on whether French Guiana’s status as a non-FIFA member meant that FIFA’s eligibility rules did not apply to them. However, CONCACAF has made clear with this decision that they intend to stand by their initial ruling that they would enforce FIFA’s rules despite any questions of French Guiana’s status.

The decision also provides controversy in Group A. Malouda did not play against Canada, who won the match 4-2, and so that result will stand. After Tuesday’s draw, Canada sat atop Group A with four points and a +2 goal differential, even with Costa Rica on points and three points above both Honduras and French Guiana. Now, Honduras will have three points and a +2 goal differential themselves. Before the decision, a win, draw, or loss by less than two goals would’ve secured advancement for Canada, and now only a win or draw will do.

Meanwhile, the suspension of Malouda will give Costa Rica a distinct advantage in their match on Friday, almost guaranteeing their advancement barring a major upset.

 

7 comments
  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    I wonder if anyone can clear this up. Watched ESPN FC yesterday and Shaka Heslop was talking about this. I thought he said that CONCACAF had allowed Malouda (or was it other players who had played for France) to play in GCQ and therefore found the decision to make him ineligible now puzzling to say the least. The example of French players playing for Guadalupe (in 2007) was mentioned as another inconsistency on the part of CONCACAF.

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    • bigprof72

      god forbid that GC should actually appeal to anyone outside of Concacaf. Look how tasty this tournament would be to people in other parts of the world if territories of a certain non-Concacaf country were allowed to be grouped together, and allowed to play those with citizenship? A Martinique/french guyana/Guadalope team named “French Caribbean” with T. Henry and Malouda in 2011, and other europe-based players, would’ve ripped it up. Imagine too how competitive “Dutch Caribbean” (Suriname/Curacao/Aruba) would be. Throw in an invite from Asia (Japan) and S. Amer (Brazil), and this tournament would be appealing on the world tv market.

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  • DB

    If Canada can take care of business against Honduras, I’m not sure I see CRC taking care of FG by the requisite amount of goals. Man, who saw Canada potentially topping the group?

    Also, looks like USMNT killer Joel Campbell is out up to six months with a ligament injury…that important qualifier vs. CRC is looming.

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