Zambia has been rewarded three points by world soccer governing body, Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), for their protest against Sudan in their qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The move serves a huge blow to the Black Stars hopes’ of making a third successive appearance at the Mundial as the Chipolopolo now occupy the summit of the Group D with the maximum six points.
A ruling by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on Monday affirmed that Saif Ali Idris was indeed ineligible to feature in the group opener which the Sudanese won 2-0 on June 2 in Khartoum, with the said player scoring the second goal.
The decision means Sudan has been stripped of the points from that match, leaving them with just a point from two games.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) confirmed the ruling on its website in a statement saying “Zambia’s Brazil 2014 World Cup aspirations received a huge boost when FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee stripped Sudan of its 2-0 victory over the Chipolopolo in Khartoum for fielding the ineligible Saif Ali.
“Zambia had protested because Ali was red-carded in Sudan’s previous international game at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where they incidentally lost 0-3 to Zambia at the quarter final stage.
“The World Cup qualifying campaigns resume in March 2013 but this decision now puts additional pressure on group contenders Ghana as Zambia now leads the group with six points from two matches. Ghana is second and Sudan third with one point, same as last placed Lesotho.”
The Black Stars next match is against Sudan on March 22 next year at home. GNA