CAS decision leaves Argentina fifth

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Argentina remains outside the automatic 2018 World Cup qualification places in the CONMEBOL section after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed two appeals from Bolivia after forfeited results.

Bolivia recorded a 2-0 win over Peru and a 0-0 draw against Chile last September while fielding Paraguay-born player Nelson Cabrera, who it later emerged was ineligible.

Peru and Chile were instead awarded 3-0 wins by FIFA, with the latter's additional two points helping them take fourth position ahead of Argentina.

Bolivia appealed the decision in both cases, questioning "the validity of FIFA's right to initiate an investigation into the matter". However, CAS has upheld the ruling and the punishment.

A statement read: "The [CAS] panel dismissed such arguments finding that FIFA had the right to initiate ex officio disciplinary proceedings against Bolivia under the [FIFA Disciplinary Code] within a time limit of two years."

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli told a news conference on Wednesday (AEST): "We do not rely on the CAS decision.

"For this reason, from the beginning, we have worked to change this situation [and qualify]."

With four games remaining, Argentina must overturn the one-point deficit to Chile if it is to avoid a play-off against a team from the Oceanian section.

Chile is level with third-place Uruguay, which Argentina faces on Friday (AEST), while Colombia a point higher in second.


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