June 4, 2014 / 1:21 PM / 5 years ago

Belgium vs Luxembourg not an official friendly, say FIFA

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (L) fights for the ball with Sweden's Andreas Granqvist during their international friendly soccer match in Stockholm June 1, 2014. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Romelu Lukaku’s hat-trick during Belgium’s 5-1 win over Luxembourg last week is to be wiped from official records after soccer’s world governing body FIFA ruled that it was not an official international.

FIFA said in an emailed statement that it did not recognise the friendly as an ‘A’ game because Belgium made too many substitutions.

The ruling means that not only is Lukaku’s first international hat-trick not officially recognised, Adnan Januzaj’s apparent senior debut for Belgium is also scrubbed.

FIFA’s rules limit the number of substitutes allowed in a competitive match to three - and six for friendlies.

Belgium made seven changes during the match, in which Nacer Chadli and Kevin De Bruyne also scored for them and Aurelien Joachim for Luxembourg.

FIFA said in an email that it would not recognise the game as an “A” match.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Neville Dalton

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