20 Aug 2011

Syria banned from 2014 World Cup

9:02 am on 20 August 2011

Syria have been disqualified from the 2014 football World Cup after fielding an ineligible player in qualifiers.

World football's governing body, FIFA, said in a statement that Tajikistan would be reinstated into the competition in Syria's place.

FIFA says the decisions are final and binding and not subject to appeal.

FIFA says the same ineligible player, who has not been named, had taken part in both legs of Syria's Asian qualifying second round tie against Tajikistan on July the 23rd and July the 28th and a 3-0 defeat had been imposed on them in each match as punishment.

When the matches were played, Syria had won 6-1 on aggregate.

Syria, who have never reached a World Cup finals, were not expected to reach the 2014 edition in Brazil.

Tajikistan will now play in the third round of qualifying, where they are in Group C with Japan, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

Their first game in this stage will be at home to Uzbekistan on September the 2nd.

The Syrian football association could not be reached for comment.