FIFA bans 2023 Afcon top-scorer Emilio Nsue from playing football, Equatorial Guinea hit with sanctions

FIFA has banned the 2023 Afcon’ top-scorer Emilio Nsue of Equatorial Guinea from playing football for six months.

The ban comes after the world football governing body ruled that the striker was ineligible to play in his country’s first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

The Equatorial Guinea’s Football Association has also been sanctioned, with FIFA forfeiting the country’s first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup in which Nsue took part.

A FIFA announcement said:

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has rendered its decisions in relation to proceedings opened against both the Equatorial Guinean Football Association (FEGUIFUT) and the player Emilio Nsue López with regards to the latter’s participation in several matches of the national team of Equatorial Guinea, including two matches in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2026 preliminary competition, despite being ineligible.

After considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee was comfortably satisfied that the player was ineligible and consequently decided to declare the matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026 preliminary competition in which the player was fielded (namely Equatorial Guinea v. Namibia and Liberia v. Equatorial Guinea played on 15 November 2023 and 20 November 2023, respectively) lost by forfeit by Equatorial Guinea (by a score of 3-0).

In addition, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed the following sanctions:

– a fine amounting to CHF 150,000 upon FEGUIFUT; and
– a six-month ban from playing for any representative team of any association upon the player Emilio Nsue López.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s findings were notified today to the parties concerned.

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the parties have ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on The present decisions remain subject to an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.

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