Nigeria almost lost its ticket to the Russia 2018 World Cup yesterday.
This is following world football governing body, FIFA’s discovery that the Super Eagles fielded Shehu Abdullahi, who was ineligible, in its last qualifying game against Algeria.
Nigeria drew 1-1 with Algerian in Constantine on November 10, but the Eagles played the game with Abdullahi, who was supposed to be serving a one-match suspension having accumulated two yellow cards.
The Super Eagles saving grace is that they had already qualified for the World Cup before the game, which result had no influence in the race to Russia.
A statement by FIFA made available to newsmen yesterday reads: “The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between Algeria and Nigeria on November 10 2017. The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Algeria, with the NFF also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000.
Following the decision, Nigeria’s total points tally reduced by just one, to 13, while Algeria moved from two to four points.