Barbados' Hallam Hope (left)
Barbados’ chances of qualifying for the Concacaf Gold Cup next year have taken a turn for the worse.
Late yesterday evening, Concacaf announced that its disciplinary committee decided to sanction the Barbados Football Association (BFA), by declaring as a forfeit the Concacaf Nations League qualifying match played against Guyana on September 6.
A statement on Concacaf’s website said: “After due examination of the evidence, the committee determined that the Barbados Football Association infringed the applicable articles of the tournament regulations and the regulations governing the application of the FIFA Statutes in relation to the eligibility of players to play for representative teams by fielding ineligible players Hallam Hope and Krystian Pearce.”
The statement also said: “In accordance with Articles 55 and 31 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Barbados Football Association is considered to have lost the match against Guyana by a score of 3-0.”
Following that match, Barbados went on to lose to El Salvador before they defeated United States Virgin Islands (USVI) last month.
Concacaf’s decision means that Guyana’s prospects of qualifying for the 2019 Gold Cup are now boosted.
Guyana have moved to eighth position on six points, while Barbados dropped from 18th to 23rd with only three points.
It comes after the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) filed an official appeal last week to FIFA, claiming that Hope and Pearce had not received clearance from both FIFA and the English Football Association (FA) to represent Barbados.
The 24-year-old Hope scored both of Barbados’ goals when the sides played to a 2-2 draw at the Leonara Stadium.
It is the second time in three years that Barbados has been forced to forfeit a match in a major competition.
In 2015 , Barbados were disqualified from the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers after allowing midfielder Hadan Holligan to play against Arbua. Holligan picked up two yellow cards in the same tournament and should have sat out of the match. He scored the lone goal.
Barbados Football Association technical director Ahmed Mohamed declined to comment on the latest development.“We haven’t done anything wrong, but on this case the only one who can give an official comment is the president Mr [Randy] Harris,” he said.
Harris told Nation Sport: “Concacaf made a decision and we have been notified about the ruling.”
The last round of qualifying matches is scheduled for March 2019 with Barbados hosting Nicaragua at the Wildey Turf. (AGB)