5 teams that were disqualified from international tournaments - will Russia follow suit?
Syria – World Cup qualifiers
Winning a FIFA World Cup qualifying match is a step towards participating at the grandest of stages. Syria had thrashed Tajikistan 6-1 on aggregate in the second round of knockout phase. Syria marched closer but it was as close as they got.
It was revealed that they had fielded George Mourad in both the legs, who was ineligible, and FIFA wasn't kind. Tajikistan were announced as 3-0 victors for both the legs and they advanced to the next round. One might think incidents like this would go unnoticed but they don't.
All that was left to do for Syria was wonder why they let this happen to themselves. "These decisions are final and binding and not subject to appeal," FIFA stated. On what grounds could Syria have appealed anyway?
They certainly weren't favorites to qualify, they weren't expected to create ripples in the football world but the sport is as unpredictable as it gets.