Bolivia forfeit two World Cup qualifiers for fielding ineligible player

FIFA has ruled that Bolivia must forfeit their World Cup qualifying matches against Chile and Peru after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.

The decision comes after Bolivia fielded Nelson Cabrera as a late substitute in breach of the rules on eligibility, in La Paz on Sept. 1, and five days later in Santiago, Chile.

The results of the two matches will be recorded as 3-0 wins for both Peru and Chile, while the Bolivian football association (FBF) has also been fined.

Bolivia had gained a 0-0 draw with Chile and a 2-0 win over Peru in September, and the forfeited results will improve Chile's qualification hopes and hit Argentina's.

Chile's two extra points put them level with Argentina on points and goal difference in fifth place in the South American qualifying group, though Chile have scored more goals.

The team that secures fifth will then face a playoff against a team from Oceania.

FIFA had received complaints from Chile and Peru about Paraguay-born defender Nelson Cabrera, who had previously played for Paraguay.

It was unclear if Bolivia failed to apply properly for Cabrera's transfer of allegiance, or if he was never eligible for his second national team.

The 33-year-old was not included in the squad for the 5-0 loss to Brazil earlier this month.

Bolivia, who can appeal the decision, had little chance of qualifying. They are currently ninth in the South American group, 12 points behind Chile and Argentina.

Cabrera also played for Bolivia in two games at the Copa America this summer as well as a pre-tournament friendly against the United States, though Bolivia lost all of those games.