Port of Spain (Trinidad), Sep 20 (IANS/CMC) Trinidad and Tobago has retained its status as the smallest nation to qualify for the FIFA World Cup following the suspension of Cape Verde from the final round of qualification in Africa.
Cape Verde defeated Tunisia 2-0 to win their group but were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player, reports CMC.
They would have entered the 10-team playoffs that decides Africa’s five representatives in Brazil next year but FIFA said its disciplinary committee decided that Fernando Varela should have been serving a suspension and Cape Verde were subsequently thrown out of the playoffs and replaced by Tunisia.
Cape Verde – an archipelago of 10 islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, 350 miles off the coast of western Africa- has a population of 500,000 and seemed to be in with a fighting chance of qualifying for Brazil.
Had they done so, they would have erased the record held by Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean nation with a population of more than a million people.
None of the qualified nations nor any of those still in the running, has a smaller population than T and T.
sr/vmPublished 20 Sep 2013, 14:48 IST