January 10, 2012 / 12:51 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Namibia's Nations Cup protest is rejected

(Adds details and CAS statement)

* Namibia protest over player thrown out by CAS

* Burkina Faso cleared to play at Nations Cup

ZURICH, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Namibia have lost their attempt to replace Burkina Faso at the African Nations Cup after sport’s highest tribunal rejected their protest that the West Africans had fielded an ineligible player against them.

Namibia, beaten twice by Burkina Faso in the qualifiers, alleged that their opponents had fielded Cameroon-born defender Herve Zengue when he was not qualified to play.

However, on Tuesday the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed Namibia’s appeal against the African confederation’s decision not to sanction Burkina Faso.

The CAS said it was satisfied that Zengue, who plays for Russian-based club Terek Grozny, was eligible to play for the West Africans under FIFA rules.

“Herve Zengue was born in Cameroon and took a residency in Burkina Faso in 1994,” it said in a statement.

“He got a Burkinabe nationality certificate on 14 September 2006. On March 25, 2011, the player received a five-year passport from Burkina Faso.”

CAF had initially rejected Namibia’s protest on a technicality while Burkina Faso said Zengue was eligible to play for them because he was married to a Burkinabe woman.

The Nations Cup, being staged in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, kicks off on Jan. 21.

FIFA statutes say that, in addition to being granted nationality, a naturalised player must have lived in his adopted country for at least five years.

Zengue was not included in Burkina’s cup squad named last week.

Burkina have been drawn in Group B with Ivory Coast, Sudan and Angola.

Namibia lost 4-0 away and 4-1 at home to Burkina in qualifying but wanted to be given 3-0 forfeit wins for each game which would have resulted in them finishing top of the group.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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