Equatorial Guinea’s women’s football team have been banned from competing in the qualification tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after FIFA uncovered evidence that one of their players had used false documentation.
World football’s governing body announced Camila Maria do Carmo Nobre de Oliveira, who played for the African nation in their unsuccessful qualification campaign for Rio 2016, had used “two passports with different dates of birth”.
“Two birth certificates containing divergent information regarding the player’s parental filiation were also provided,” a FIFA statement on the case read.
The organisation also confirmed investigations into several other unnamed players were ongoing.
Oliveira has been given a 10-game suspension and a fine of CHF2,000 (£1,474/$2,100/€1,837), as well as being reprimanded and warned about her future conduct.
In addition to having their Olympic hopes for Tokyo 2020 dashed, the Equatorial Guinea Football Association have been fined CHF40,000 ($29,000/$42,000/€37,000) after FIFA held the organisation “liable for the use of forged or falsified documents”.
The news provides the latest controversy in Equatorial Guinean women’s football as FIFA banned them from qualifying for the 2012 women's Olympic football tournament in London for fielding an ineligible player.
Forward Jade Boho Sayo was fielded by the Guineans against Cameroon, despite being suspended by FIFA for "the period of two months regarding eligibility matters".
Their men were also initially disqualified from playing at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in July 2014 for fielding an ineligible player in a preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on May 17 of the same year.
They were then granted reinstatement after they stepped in to host the tournament following Morocco’s withdrawal over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.
Equatorial Guinea’s women failed to book a spot at Rio 2016 as they lost their two-legged play-off with South Africa 1-0 on aggregate after suffering defeat at the Estadio de Bata in October.
They had earlier overcome Congo in the first round before they beat Nigeria 3-2 on aggregate, with Genoveva Añonma’s goal in extra-time proving crucial in setting up a meeting with the South Africans for a place at this summer’s Olympic Games.
A total of 12 teams will compete for gold in the women’s Olympic football tournament in the Brazilian city.
The host country will be joined by Colombia, France, Germany, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and Sweden.