x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Syria thrown out of 2014 World Cup qualifiers by Fifa

Tajikistan will replace Syria in the Asian qualifying stages after Tajik officials claimed Syria midfielder George Mourad had previously represented Sweden.

Syria's football federation announce that their national team have been banned from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers by Fifa for fielding an ineligible player.

Syria reached the qualification group phase by beating Tajikistan over two legs in a qualifying tie in July.

However, the Syrian federation was then informed by Fifa that the latter game would be awarded as a 2-0 win for Tajikistan after Tajik officials claimed Syria midfielder George Mourad had previously represented Sweden.

Mourad scored in the away leg after coming on as a substitute and also played the final 20 minutes of the return leg.

Tajikistan will replace Syria in Asian World Cup qualifying Group C alongside Japan, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

Syrian federation president Farouq Sarriyeh announced that he would petition the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the decision. Mourad played 13 minutes of a friendly for Sweden against Mexico in January 2005.