French Guiana Field Ineligible Florent Malouda vs. Honduras in 2017 Gold Cup

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2017

French Guiana midfielder Florent Malouda (15) controls the ball in front of Honduras midfielder Alfredo Mejia (8) in the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Houston, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

French Guiana fielded the ineligible Florent Malouda in their Gold Cup match against Honduras on Tuesday, a move which is likely to result in them forfeiting the match.

Per Alexi Lalas of Fox Sports, the national team not only started the 37-year-old, but also gave him the captain's armband, and the disciplinary committee is expected to hand an automatic 3-0 victory for Honduras:

The teams played out a goalless stalemate in the match, per the Gold Cup:

Malouda was born in Cayenne, French Guiana's capital, but he spent his entire international career with France.

He earned 80 caps for Les Bleus appearing at the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and 2010, in which he scored France's only goal, and UEFA Euro 2012, which was the last time he played for them.

While the fact French Guiana are not recognised by FIFA and can't participate in the World Cup allowed some to believe he would be able to restart his international career with his country of birth, CONCACAF declared before the tournament that he would not be allowed to play.

"The rules say he's ineligible," a CONCACAF spokesperson told Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated. "We are using FIFA rules, and so a player who has played in an official match for a different [national team] cannot play in Gold Cup. More precisely, he is not eligible to play. He can play, but he's not eligible."

French Guiana lost 4-2 to Canada in their opening match. After opting to field Malouda for their second game, their likely forfeit of the point they earned will almost certainly bring an end to their chances of progressing from Group A, unless they convincingly beat Costa Rica in their final match and Canada defeat Honduras.

Malouda scored 45 goals in 238 appearances for Chelsea in a six-year spell at Stamford Bridge, albeit he did not make a single appearance for them in his final season, and he won the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup three times with the Blues.

The winger also won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles with Lyon prior to joining Chelsea, and he had spells with Guingamp, Trabzonspor and Metz over the course of his career, among others.

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