AFCON 2023 top scorer handed six-month ban for representing Equatorial Guinea while ineligible

AFCON 2023 top scorer Emilio Nsue | Imago

AFCON 2023 top scorer handed six-month ban for representing Equatorial Guinea while ineligible

Joel Omotto 18:40 - 24.05.2024

Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue, who was the top scorer at AFCON 2023, has been handed a six-month ban by FIFA with his country also sanctioned for playing while ineligible.

Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue has been slapped with a six-month ban while the country has been sanctioned for fielding the player, who was deemed ineligible, in a number of matches.

Nsue has been sanctioned in regards to the participation in several matches of the national team of Equatorial Guinea, including two matches in the ongoing 2026 World Cup qualifiers despite being ineligible.

FIFA Disciplinary Committee was satisfied that Nuse was ineligible and consequently decided to declare the World Cup qualifiers in which he was fielded (namely Equatorial Guinea vs Namibia and Liberia vs Equatorial Guinea played on 15 November 2023 and 20 November 2023, respectively) lost by forfeit by Equatorial Guinea (by a score of 3-0).

In addition, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed a fine amounting to CHF 150,000 upon FEGUIFUT (the Equatoguinean Football Federation).

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s findings were notified today [Friday] to the parties concerned. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the parties have ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on The present decisions remain subject to an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee,” FIFA said via a statement on its website.

It is not the first time Equatorial Guinea are being sanctioned in relation to Nsue. In 2013, the country was sanctioned for using Nsue -the same ineligible player- in two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde.

Nsue was a key player for Equatorial Guinea as they reached the Round of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and emerged as the top scorer at the tournament with five goals.

He, however, fell out with the FEGUIFUT after the tournament and later accused the football association of corruption.

Nsue launched a scathing attack on the country's football authorities, exposing a series of distressing incidents that he claimed led to his and midfielder Ivan Edu Salvador's suspension from the national squad.

The accusations come in the wake of the duo's suspension by the Equatoguinean Football Federation (FEGUIFUT) for alleged gross indiscipline during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire.

He alleged that over €1 million from the tournament's earnings was unaccounted for, painting a grim picture of neglect and exploitation.