AFCON 2023 Golden Boot Winner Banned from Football After FIFA Investigation, Country Gets Fined

AFCON 2023 Golden Boot Winner Banned from Football After FIFA Investigation, Country Gets Fined

  • FIFA has ruled that Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue was never eligible to represent the nation during his 11-year international career
  • As a result, Equatorial Guinea has been stripped of their recent World Cup 2026 qualification victories against Namibia and Liberia
  • Nsue has been banned from international football for six months and Equatoguinean Football Federation fined 150,000 Swiss francs for fielding an ineligible player

FIFA has determined that Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue was never eligible to represent the African nation throughout his 11-year international career.

This decision follows an investigation which revealed that Nsue, who had previously played for Spain’s youth teams, was ineligible under FIFA regulations.

Emilio Nsue banned from football after 11 year career
Emilion banned from football, country fined. Photo credit: Photo by MB Media/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Nsue, 34, gained significant recognition earlier this year, winning the Golden Boot as the top goalscorer at the Africa Cup of Nations, netting five goals in four appearances.

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Despite this achievement, FIFA's recent ruling has cast a shadow over his international career.

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The controversy dates back to December 2013, when FIFA first ruled Nsue ineligible to play for Equatorial Guinea.

Despite this, he continued to represent the country in international matches. A renewed investigation into Nsue's eligibility was launched in March, during which he was given a six-day deadline to respond to the allegations. FIFA reported that no response was received from Nsue within this timeframe, GOAL reported.

FIFA published its findings in a comprehensive 15-page ruling on Monday. As a result, Equatorial Guinea has been stripped of their World Cup 2026 qualification victories against Namibia and Liberia, both of which they won 1-0 with goals scored by Nsue. These matches have now been awarded to their opponents, each with a 3-0 victory.

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Nigeria vs South Africa: Pressure mounts as Super Eagles drop to 4th spot in World Cup qualifiers

In addition to Nsue's ineligibility, FIFA has imposed a six-month ban on him from all international football activities. Furthermore, the Equatoguinean Football Federation (Feguifut) has been fined 150,000 Swiss francs ($164,000, £129,000) for their role in fielding an ineligible player, The Atletic FC reported on Facebook.

Ayomide Oguntimihen, a sports expert, shared his thoughts on Emilio Nsue’s ban:

“The rules about allegiance pledging to a country, as stated by FIFA, are unclear and subjected to several interpretations. Many sports experts still find it hard to know how the FIFA rules work. The criteria regarding a player’s move to another country need to be reevaluated and made clear by FIFA so as to avoid such occurrence in the future.”

Nsue, Dala, and players leading golden boot race

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the race for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 Golden Boot award is up and running, as players look to earn the crown of the tournament’s top goal-scorer.

Read also

Nigeria vs South Africa: Date, time, other details about 2026 world cup qualifier

Legit.ng reports that Africa's biggest football tournament has consistently featured top-notch goal-scorers.

Although Emilio Nsue of Equatorial Guinea currently leads the chart, his team exited the competition in the round-of-16 stage.

In a recent development, Legit.ng also compiled the full list of awardees as Nigeria's Captain becomes best player of the tournament.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Basit Jamiu avatar

Basit Jamiu (Editor) Basit Jamiu is an award-winning journalist and a human interest editor with more than 5 years of experience in the media (Ikeja Bird, Prime Progress, The Movee). He started his journalism career after graduating from Ekiti State University in 2018. He is a 2023 MTN Media Fellow, OCRP Fellow at ICIR, and Accountability Fellow at CJID. He also has professional certificates in Information Management, Technical Writing, Digital Marketing from Google. He can be reached via basit.jamiu@corp.legit.ng.

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