Former African champions, Equatorial Guinea women’s football team, have been banned from competing in the qualification tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after FIFA uncovered evidence that one of their players had used false documentation.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee said that the two-time African champions, who won the title in 2012, used a falsified document for one of her players, Camila Maria do Carmo Nobre de Oliveira, during the qualifiers for the 2016 edition.
Soccer’s world governing body said it had found evidence of the use of two passports with different dates of birth for Camila Maria, who took part in several qualifying matches.
FIFA also said two birth certificates containing divergent information regarding the player’s parental affiliation were provided.
The world’s football governing body further revealed that investigations related to the eligibility of several other players are currently ongoing.
Oliveira was banned for the next 10 international matches for which she would be eligible, fined 2,000 Swiss francs ($2,100), warned and reprimanded.
The disciplinary committee held the Equatorial Guinea Football Association liable for the use of the forged or falsified documents and fined them 40,000 Swiss francs.
This is not the first time the country would be caught in such acts, the women’s team was also disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics for fielding an ineligible player. In 2011, FIFA suspended striker Jade Boho Sayo for two months and threw her out of the Women’s World Cup and the team out of the Olympics the following year.
Last year, the men’s team which was also caught fielding ineligible players, was disqualified from the African Cup of Nations but was reinstated — and went on to reach the semifinals — after offering to host the tournament as a last-minute replacement for Morocco.
Equatorial Guinea has been accused of trying to buy soccer success by enticing foreign players. The men’s team was stripped of a victory in World Cup qualifying in 2013 when none of its starting lineup was born in Equatorial Guinea.