Cape of no hope

Cape Verde will not be reinstated in the World Cup after FIFA dismissed the  African nation’s appeal in an ineligible player case.

The ruling confirms Tunisia’s place in the qualifying play-offs. Tunisia will face Cameroon in a two-leg playoff on October 13 and November 17.

Cape Verde beat Tunisia 2-0 in a decisive group match last month, but fielded defender Fernando Varela, who was serving a four-match suspension for a red card in a previous qualifier. FIFA awarded Tunisia a 3-0 victory by default, reversing the standings at the top of the group.

Cape Verde can still take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas). They had argued that Varela’s red card and ban should not have counted as the match had been declared void.

Varela was banned for four matches after being sent off in an earlier Group B game against Equatorial Guinea, which Cape Verde lost 4-3.

That result itself was overturned, and the game awarded to Cape Verde 3-0, after FIFA ruled that Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue, who scored a hat-trick, was not eligible to play.