MIAMI (Reuters) - French Guiana have been fined and made to forfeit their CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Honduras for fielding former France international Florent Malouda.
The team from the overseas French department, who have qualified for the tournament for the first time, held Honduras to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday. However, CONCACAF said in a statement on Friday that its disciplinary committee had handed Honduras a 3-0 win after it confirmed that the 37-year-old Malouda was in breach of rules over the switching national teams. “(Malouda) was confirmed by the Disciplinary Committee to be ineligible to play in the Gold Cup 2017 according to the applicable regulations,” CONCACAF said.
It said the French Guiana Football League had been fined an “undisclosed amount” while Malouda was suspended for “two official matches” although CONCACAF did not give details of how he would serve that ban.
FIFA rules bar players from switching national teams once they have played a competitive international at senior level.
However, French Guiana coach Jair Karam said after the Honduras game that FIFA rules should not apply because they were not members of the global soccer body.
Karam pointed out that Jocelyn Angloma helped Guadeloupe reach the semi-finals in 2007, despite having previously played for France.
Similar to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, French Guiana is a member of CONCACAF but not of FIFA.
Malouda, who now plays his club football in India with Delhi Dynamos, made 80 appearances for France, including the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, which they lost on penalties.
The former Chelsea and Olympique Lyon player, who did not play in last year’s qualifying matches for the Gold Cup, was born in French Guiana and made his debut for them at the Caribbean Cup last month.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien