PARIS, France, Dec 20 – Peru captain Paolo Guerrero has had his one-year drugs ban reduced to six months, FIFA said in a statement sent to AFP on Wednesday, allowing him to play at next year’s World Cup.
“The FIFA Appeal Committee after taking into account all the circumstances of the case, in particular the degree of fault of the player, considered a six-month period of ineligibility to be a proportionate sanction,” FIFA explained.
“The suspension period starts on 3 November 2017, the date on which the player was provisionally suspended by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,” it added.
The 33-year-old attacker, who plays for Brazilian giants Flamengo, was banned after “testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine” following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina on October 5.
The former Bayern Munich striker missed Peru’s play-off victory over New Zealand, which made the South American nation the 32nd and last country to qualify for the World Cup, after being provisionally suspended for 30 days for the offence on November 3.
He was then slapped with a one-year suspension by FIFA on December 8, but the decision to partially uphold his appeal means Guerrero will be free to represent his country in Russia.
Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate to secure a first World Cup finals appearance since 1982. They have been drawn alongside France, Australia and Denmark in Group C.