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Fifa bans 2023 AFCON top scorer Emilio Nsue over ineligibility

Fifa bans 2023 AFCON top scorer Emilio Nsue over ineligibility

African Cup of Nations golden boot winner Emilio Nsue has been banned by the world governing body, FIFA, for six months. 

This decision comes after FIFA ruled that the Equatorial Guinea striker was ineligible to play in his country’s first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. 

Last November, the 34-year-old scored the winning goal in both games in question, against Namibia and Liberia.

The Equatorial Guinea Football Association has also been sanctioned by FIFA, resulting in the country forfeiting its first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, in which Nsue participated.

A Fifa disciplinary committee was “comfortably satisfied” that Nsue was ineligible for “several” international matches and has ruled that both World Cup preliminaries will be forfeited 3-0 by the Central Africans. 

It has also fined the Equatoguinean federation (Feguifut) 150,000 Swiss francs ($164,000, £129,000) and banned Nsue – a former youth international for Spain – from playing for any national side for six months. 

FIFA has not provided further details on the ruling for a player who won the Golden Boot at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. An official from Feguifut said they are investigating the case and have not received official notification from FIFA. 

Nsue was previously ruled ineligible by FIFA in 2013. Equatorial Guinea faces a potential six-point deduction, which would impact their chances of reaching the 2026 World Cup finals. 

They currently hold the second position in their group, but if the deduction is upheld, they will drop to fifth. The team is scheduled to face Tunisia and Malawi in qualifiers next month.

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