Iraq loses last appeal to get back into World Cup

Updated: September 29, 2008, 12:54 PM ET
Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Iraq lost its bid Monday for reinstatement in 2010 World Cup qualifying after the sport's highest court refused to punish Qatar for using an ineligible player.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed with governing body FIFA that Iraq had no right to make an appeal because it was late in paying a $2,800 fee.

The Iraqi Football Association (IFA) missed the deadline by 11 days.

"The IFA was fully aware of the conditions for filing an appeal with FIFA," CAS said in a statement.

The dispute stemmed from a March 26 Asian qualifier between Qatar and Iraq in Doha.

Brazilian-born Emerson was a Qatar citizen when he helped his adopted country beat Iraq 2-0. But earlier in his career he had also played for Brazil's under-20 team under the name of Marcio Passos De Albuquerque.

FIFA lets players change nationality but not play for two countries.

The breach of rules was brought to FIFA's attention by football officials in China, which was due to play Qatar in a June 2 qualifier.

FIFA banned Emerson but cleared Qatar of wrongdoing, despite article 55 of its disciplinary code stating that "if a player takes part in an official match despite being ineligible, his team will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match."

Article 31 of the code states that a forfeit is considered a 3-0 defeat -- a result which would have seen Iraq take Qatar's place in the current qualifying stage.

FIFA's disciplinary committee said the code penalties should not apply because the Qatari federation was given false information.

It rejected two Iraq attempts to appeal on technical grounds.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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