The world football governing body, FIFA has sanctioned the Super Eagles of Nigeria for fielding an ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi, in a World Cup qualifying match between the team and Algeria on November 10, 2017.
This was made known in a statement released by the disciplinary committee of the body yesterday, Tuesday 12th of December. The committee ruled that Shehu Abdullahi, having received a yellow card against Swaziland in the preliminary round of the qualifiers before receiving a second yellow in another match against Zambia, was ineligible to take part in the game against Zambia.
As a result, result of the match was rescinded and FIFA awarded a 3-0 victory in favor of Algeria while also deducting the point Nigeria gained from the match.
Nigeria now ends the group with 13 points against the initial 14, and will also pay a fine of over two million naira to FIFA.
The football administrative body of Nigeria, Nigeria Football Federation, has faced widespread criticism following the announcement as many expressed fear over what could have been the turn out had the team not secured qualification before the game against Algeria.
Huge story: @thenff almost cost Nigeria the World Cup place by fielding an ineligible player against Algeria. FIFA has now awarded three points to Algeria.
So if we hadn't qualified before that game, our World Cup slot could have just been lost. https://t.co/80C7Z1gMh7
— Yomi Kazeem (@TheYomiKazeem) December 12, 2017
In reaction, President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, said “an internal inquiry would be instituted immediately and persons found culpable will be dealt with”