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French Guiana’s Malouda ineligible for Gold Cup, may play anyway

In an odd twist of events, French Guiana may end up fielding an ineligible player on Friday night against Canada.

Due to FIFA eligibility rules, ¬†midfielder Florent Malouda is unable to play for his native country due to making 80 appearances at the senior level for France during his career, reports Sports Illustrated. The team initially believed that Malouda would be available due to French Guiana’s status as a non-FIFA member, which allowed him to compete in last month’s Caribbean Cup. However, CONCACAF rules clearly state that Gold Cup eligibility is determined by FIFA Regulations, which prohibit a change in nationality after competing at the senior level.

“The rules say he’s ineligible,” a CONCACAF spokesperson said, according to SI. “We are using FIFA rules, and so a player who has played in an official match for a different [national team] cannot play in Gold Cup. More precisely, he is not eligible to play. He can play, but he’s not eligible.”

But that ineligibility might not stop Malouda from seeing the field. The former Chelsea and Olympique Lyon star might well be placed into the starting eleven, despite head coach Jair Karam being well aware of the issue.

“[Malouda] is going to play tomorrow.” Karam stated. “We’re the minnows here, but we will do everything we can to give ourselves a chance.”

In the event that Malouda takes the field against Canada on Friday night, French Guiana would automatically forfeit the match. This would give Canada a 3-0 victory and a huge boost to their group stage hopes.


  1. I have no problem w/ him playing – he’s at the end of his career and he has a connection to that territory. Now if Qatar shows up at the 2022 WC w/ 11 Brazilian mercenaries that’s a different story

  2. Malouda not on the bench for FG tonight.

    Much ado about very little. Oh, Canada is up 2-0 thanks to some really shoddy GK play.

  3. I’m not really sure why this SHOULD be an issue, since he hasn’t ever played for another country (seeing as France and French Guiana are kind of…err…the same country).

    • It’s interesting to note that Jocelyn Angloma played in the GC for Guadeloupe in 2007….after participating in two major tourneys for France…was CONCACAF using different eligibility rules at that time?

  4. This is what happens when you allow non-FIFA sides to compete in your continental tournaments.

    Canada is hoping he plays…might be the only way they get a result…lol.

    And if he does play, well, FG needs to face a long Gold Cup ban. This is clownshow stuff.

  5. French Guiana is not the same as French Guinea. French Guinea is in Africa. French Guiana is in South America and is the country participating in this year’s Gold Cup.


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