Chile manager declines to comment on Bolivia-FIFA controversy

Santiago, Nov 3 (IANS) Chilean football manager Juan Antonio Pizzi has declined to comment on the FIFA ruling that gave Chile three points in a World Cup qualifier against Bolivia after the latter was penalised for fielding an illegal player.

In two separate World Cup qualifiers, against Peru on September 2 and Chile on September 7, Bolivia played defender Nelson Cabrera, who had previously played for Paraguay, reports Xinhua.

While Cabrera holds a Bolivian nationality, he previously played one international match for Paraguay in 2007.

Although Bolivia beat Peru 2-0 and drew with Chile 0-0, FIFA came down harshly on the team, reversing the two results and recording them as 3-0 defeats.

This saw Chile pick up three important points to jump above Argentina and Paraguay in the South American rankings.

“I do not feel involved with this topic. We need to focus … on the next matches against Colombia and Uruguay,” said Pizzi in a press conference on Wednesday.

“Logically, my situation does not change just by having two extra points as my job is to prepare for the two games drawing near,” he added.

Pizzi was asked whether FIFA’s controversial decision, which has been criticised by a number of football federations, might see referees try to disadvantage Chile in future games.

“These are just speculations that I think make no sense. I do not see a situation in which there could be any type of reprisals,” he said.

Chile is to face Colombia on November 10 and Uruguay on November 15 in the next phase of World Cup qualifiers.

–IANS

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