In a major embarrassment to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Indian national football team, world football's governing body, FIFA, on Tuesday ruled that they had found the Blue Tigers guilty of fielding an ineligible player for their 2018 World Cup Qualification Group D tie versus Iran in Bengaluru, on the 8th of September, 2015.
A report by the Times of India, states that India have been handed a fine and conjointly been made to forfeit the Iran tie, which means they offered a 'no contest' in the World Cup qualifier in Bengaluru, for playing Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who had been suspended for picking up two yellow cards earlier in the group stage.
Iran initially won the tie 0-3, but the FIFA disciplinary committee, keeping in line with Article 15 and 55 of the FIFA disciplinary code and Article 8 of the FIFA 2018 World Cup regulations, have found that Lyngdoh had picked up two yellow cards in earlier group games - versus Oman (June 11) and Guam (June 16) - and thus should have stood ineligible for the tie versus the Sher-e-Iran.
The FIFA disciplinary code's Article 55 explicitly states, "If a player takes part in an official match despite being ineligible, his team will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match (cf. art. 31) and paying a minimum fine of CHF 6,000."
Stephen Constantine and his managerial staff were caught unaware of Lyngdoh's suspension and now the Indian national team have been dealt in accordance with the laws, being fined CHF 6000 (INR 4,05,900) and have also been made to forfeit the tie against Iran, to a 0-3 scoreline - which is however the margin by which Iran won anyway.
Lyngdoh is currently recovering from injury and has not been picked amongst the probables for the World Cup qualification ties versus Iran, away to Tehran on March 24 and Turkmenistan, at home, on March 29.