Thursday November 23 2017
Could Italy really replace Peru?

The FIFA regulations dictate that it is theoretically possible for Italy to replace Peru at the World Cup, but it’s highly unlikely.

It has been reported that the Peruvian State could take control of their football federation, something which is not allowed by FIFA.

If the law is passed and world football’s governing body aren’t happy with the situation, it is possible Peru could be banned from international competition and with that the World Cup next summer.

In 2015, Kuwait were given a five-year ban from FIFA competition after government interference, though Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Ahmad al-Sabah remained on the Executive Committee.

Speculation has therefore raged that the Azzurri could potentially be given a back door into the World Cup, having been knocked out by Sweden in the play-offs.

A perusal of FIFA’s laws governing the World Cup shows that it is possible.

Article 7 states “if any association withdraws or is excluded from the competition, the FIFA Organising Committee shall decide on the matter at its sole discretion and take whatever action is deemed necessary”.

That means there is no statutory obligation for FIFA to replace Peru with New Zealand, who lost to them in the play-offs, or another South American nation.

It’s explicitly stated that “the FIFA Organising Committee may in particular decide to replace the association in question with another association”, but not which association that would be.

As a prestigious nation with a high world ranking, it would clearly be beneficial to FIFA to have Italy at the World Cup.

However, any such decision is highly unlikely, almost to the point of impossibility.

The only likely reason for a nation being excluded is civil war or other conflicts which could affect the nation in question.

Yugoslavia were excluded from the 1992 European Championships when the country descended into civil war, and were replaced by Denmark.

The Danes had finished behind Yugoslavia in qualifying, and went on to win the tournament in one of the biggest upsets in modern football history.

Even if the State does take over the running of the Peruvian FA - which in itself is far from certain - it's not likely FIFA would consider that grounds to exclude them from the tournament.

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