Sat, Feb

Andre Boucaud arrives with teammates at the Mayagüez Athletics Stadium, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico on March 28th 2021

THE FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not open a case into Trinidad and Tobago’s use of veteran footballer Andre Boucaud in a 2021 World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Puerto Rico last March.

England-born Boucaud has 48 international caps for T&T.

Both the Guyana and Puerto Rico football federations had written FIFA, questioning the eligibility of Boucard against Puerto Rico, after digital portal reported that at the time of his playing the aforementioned March 2021 World Cup qualifier against Puerto Rico, Boucaud was listed as an athletes’ agent and not an active English Football Association player -- which would thus render him as ineligible, according to English FA statutes.

However, there are no such statutes in FIFA’s own rules. Puerto Rico has since confirmed that FIFA had informed them that T&T had no case to answer, in clear contradiction to a report out of Guyana in which Stabroek Sport reported Guyana Football Federation (GFF) general secretary, Ian Alves, as stating the matter was before FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.

Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee in T&T, was contacted via WhatsApp and asked whether FIFA had given any direction to the TTFA in the matter. Hadad did not reply. However, the Puerto Rico Football Federation (FPF) has confirmed that FIFA had stated T&T had no case to answer.

Gordon Savic, head of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, was named as informing the FPF that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not open a case related to Puerto Rico’s request to investigate the player Andre Boucard, who was active with T&T in the World Cup qualifying match on March 28 in Mayagüez, which resulted in a 1-1 draw.

“According to FIFA, the protest by Puerto Rico did not meet the requirements established in the Disciplinary Code,” FPF noted on its official website. For the record, Boucaud did not even play when T&T defeated Guyana 3-0 on March 25, before drawing 1-1 with Puerto Rico three days later.

Stabroek Sport had stated: ‘According to Alves, FIFA has officially responded to the GFF’s formal protest of May 14 adding that the disciplinary committee will adjudicate on the matter.’ FIFA typically acknowledges receipt of an official protest within 24 hours of its filing date.

SOURCE: T&T Express