AFCON star Nsue ruled as ineligible for international career

AFCON star Nsue ruled as ineligible for international career

FIFA has ruled that Emilio Nsue, the top scorer at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, was never eligible to play for Equatorial Guinea throughout his 11-year international career.
Nsue has been banned from international football for six months and the Equatoguinean federation (Feguifut) fined 150,000 Swiss francs (£131,000).
Furthermore, a document published by Fifa on Monday detailed that Equatorial Guinea would be stripped of their World Cup 2026 qualification victories against Namibia and Liberia, with their opponents awarded a three-goal win. Both games ended 1-0 thanks to Nsue goals.
The judgment is based on Nsue playing competitive matches for Spain’s youth teams before featuring for Equatorial Guinea’s senior side without having been granted permission for a change of association.
In 2013, Fifa told Feguifut that the player “apparently only acquired the Equatoguinean nationality after having played in his first international match in an official competition”.
When Nsue earned his first two caps for the nation and was found ineligible, Equatorial Guinea defaulted two World Cup 2014 qualification matches as 3-0 defeats.
Nsue had at that point played 26 competitive matches for Spain from under-16 level through to under-21 and featured in the European Under-21 Championship in 2011. Fifa says Equatorial Guinea requested Nsue’s release from the Spanish FA but did not make the request through Fifa.
The 34-year-old has played more than 40 games and scored 23 goals for the country, including five in January at the Africa Cup of Nations. Nsue, who has played for Mallorca, Middlesbrough and Birmingham among others, helped his team top Group A before a last-16 defeat to Guinea.
The Fifa disciplinary committee explained it took action only in relation to Nsue’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers because that is an active competition.
Nsue, who plays for the third-tier Spanish team Intercity, can appeal against the judgment via Fifa and later via the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) if unsuccessful.

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