UEFA has opened the ‘Pandora’s box’ of European futsal. As Relevo revealed exclusively last Friday, the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body made public on Monday the resolution against the teams of Georgia and Armenia for violation of article 38 of the UEFA European Qualification Regulations for the 2024 FIFA World Cup regarding the eligibility of its players.
The highest body of European football thus agreed with the Federations of Portugal and Finlandwho had presented paths protests over the lineup of eight Brazilian players with Georgian passports and seven Brazilians and two Russians naturalized as Armenians in the matches they played against the Portuguese and the Finns on the second day of Group E of the elite round of the qualification for the World Cup in Uzbekistan from September 14 to October 6 of next year.
Disciplinary inspectors have found well-founded irregularities in the complaints about ‘express’ passportswhich would violate article 7 of the regulations governing the application of the FIFA Statutes about the requirements to obtain nationality and be able to play in a national team different from your country of origin. So, despite Portugal beating Georgia (4-2) and Finland beating Armenia (2-3), UEFA gives for forfeits both encounters (5-0 and 0-5).
This resolution has spurred other Federationswho have well-founded suspicions about the eligibility of the Brazilian players and other nationalities that their rivals are fielding. This is the case of the Netherlands, placed in Group A with Romania, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Three teams that have numerous nationalized players. The orange squad tied (1-1) yesterday Tuesday with the Romanian team and Relevo can confirm that it will present a formal protest to UEFA.
In the match between the Dutch and Romanians, The coach Endre Kacso used four Brazilian players (the former Jaén player, Felipe Mancha, Savio Valladares, Daniel Araujo and André Sasse) and the Portuguese Paulo Ferreira as naturalized players. The squad led by the Spanish Miguel Andrés had just lost to the Romanians (2-1) in the match played last Friday, October 6 at the Pitesti Arena.
Regulatory, The teams only have twelve hours after the end of the match to formalize a complaint to UEFA. After the claim of Portugal and Finland was made public, The Dutch Federation has decided to join the investigation of the so-called ‘Passport Case’ and has also requested that the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body reviews the eligibility of naturalized Romanian players. Furthermore, they hope that, by extension, Also analyze the documentation related to the Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan teams.
The Netherlands lost 0-2 against Kazakhstan on September 15 with Higuita in goal, Douglas, Edson and Taynan in their ranks. The Kazakh team, led by Kaká, also usually uses Leo. All of them are players who came to the Kazakh country through Kairat Almaty, with Cacau on the bench, and were then naturalized to be used in the Kazakh national team.
Azerbaijan followed an identical strategywhich beat the Netherlands 6-1, with the first nationalized players such as Serjao, Biro Jade or Thiago Paz with Iberia Star or Araz Naxcivan. The Azzeri team even played with seven naturalized Brazilians (Edu, Vilela, Philippine, Amedeu, Maneca, Rooster (Apples) and Biel). In addition, Vitaliy Borisov has also recruited two Iranians such as Hadi Ahmadi and Amir Shojaei.
It should be noted that, before UEFA’s resolution was made public, although it was already official and known to the federations involved, Armenia and Georgia played again against Portugal and Finland, directed by the Italian Sergio Gargelli and with the Spanish Pedro Cuadra as second. The Portuguese, with Jorge Braz on the bench, beat the Armenians 5-6 on October 6 in Yerevan with two Russians (Khromykh and Nevedrov) and four Brazilians (Luan, Joao Guilherme, Rodriguinho and Vitinho) and coach Ruben Nazaretyan did not use Zanotto, Paradynski and Rozenski.
While, The Finns were defeated by Georgia (5-2) at the Tbilisi Sports Palace. The coach, Avtandil Asatiani, used six Brazilians (Chaguinha, Bruno Gomes, Simi Saiotti, Bynho, Elisandro and Bruno Petry). Regarding the match denounced by Portugal, Thales, Chimba, Villian and Fer Drasler were left out. Both the Portuguese and Finnish Federations have reiterated their firm intention to continue denouncing the matches they have to play against Armenians and Georgians this Wednesday, October 11.
Jyrki Filppu, director of futsal at the Finnish Football Federation, declared that “there was a strong suspicion that the citizenship conditions defined by FIFA for players of Brazilian origin in Armenia and Georgia were not fully metbecause the players’ club records do not show that they have played in these countries.
“There has been a lot of talk about this issue, but now the first official objections have been made to UEFA. We hope that all countries involved in the international competition system will commit to the current rules. “We hope that our example and the positive decision on our objection will serve as an example to other countries and that the use of players without playing rights will be permanently eradicated from sport.”remarked Filppu.
Filpu concluded by assuring that “It is an issue that concerns the credibility of the sport and its European future, as well as compliance with the eligibility rules of national federations and FIFA”. It gives the feeling that Portugal, Finland and now Holland have unleashed a storm of unknown dimensions in world futsal.
The entire futsal planet closely follows the decisions of the highest body of European footballwhich can represent a before and after after many years of incomprehensible permissiveness on the part of FIFA and UEFA. The latest resolution of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is understood by the different federations as an exemplary measure to ensure the integrity of the competitionsbut they hope that do not stop at a specific disciplinary action and carry out an in-depth investigation less than a year until the World Cup.