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July 17, 2024

FIFA Awards Niger Victory in World Cup Qualifier Following Congo Forfeit

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FIFA Awards Niger Victory in World Cup Qualifier Following Congo Forfeit

FIFA has made a decisive ruling in the aftermath of a controversial World Cup qualifier between Niger and Congo, awarding Niger a 3-0 victory and three points. The match, originally scheduled to take place in Brazzaville, Congo, was postponed due to stadium inadequacies that failed to meet FIFA’s hosting standards.

Congo, despite assurances from their Sports Minister regarding stadium readiness, refused to travel to Kinshasa, the alternative venue designated by FIFA. This decision stemmed from FIFA’s directive to proceed with the match in Kinshasa after deeming the Alphonse Massemba-Debat Stadium unfit for play until renovations, including a new pitch, were completed.

As a result of Congo’s non-compliance and withdrawal from the fixture, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee officially declared the match a forfeit in favor of Niger. This ruling places Niger second in Group E of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers with six points, trailing leaders Morocco by three points. Meanwhile, Congo remains without a point after three matches.

With only the top team from each of the nine groups guaranteed a spot in the expanded 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, Niger’s awarded victory positions them competitively as they aim to secure qualification.

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