FIFA revealed in a statement that Cape Verde had been found to have fielded defender Fernando Varela in last weekend’s 2-0 win away to Tunisia in Rades.
That win allowed Cape Verde to finish top of Group B in the second round of African qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, a point clear of Tunisia.
However, FIFA announced that last weekend’s game “has been declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Tunisia, meaning that the Cape Verde Islands will not progress to round three of the African zone qualifiers having dropped to second place in Group B with nine points while Tunisia finish first with 14 points and will now advance”.
The Cape Verdean Football Association (FCF) has also received a fine of 6,000 Swiss Francs ($6,445) for fielding Varela, who should have been serving a four-match suspension after being sent off for unsporting conduct towards a match official during the match against Equatorial Guinea in March.
That match had been declared a 3-0 forfeit victory to Cape Verde after the Equatoguineans fielded the ineligible Emilio Nsue.
Tunisia will go into the September 16 draw for the final round of African World Cup qualifying along with the other nine group winners from round two.
The winners of five, two-legged ties will advance to the finals in Brazil.