October 30, 2017 / 8:20 PM / a year ago

Peru, NZ to start World Cup playoff with no yellow cards

FILE PHOTO - Peruvian national soccer players attend a training session in the Brazilian city of Goiania, March 26, 2005. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes SM/hb

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru and New Zealand will start next month’s intercontinental playoff for a place at the 2018 World Cup with a clean slate in terms of yellow cards, the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) said in a statement on Monday.

The South Americans asked soccer’s world governing body FIFA to make the ruling, arguing that New Zealand had played fewer games in their qualifying rounds.

New Zealand featured in seven Oceania group qualifying matches plus a two-legged playoff, while Peru played 18 matches as they came fifth in their continent’s competition.

“This resolution is an example that allows both national sides to start from an equal footing in the playoffs,” FPF president Edwin Oviedo said on the federation’s official website.

The teams meet in Wellington on Nov. 11, before heading to Lima for the second leg four days later to decide who goes to next year’s finals in Russia.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris

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