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Why Italy won't replace Peru in 2018 World Cup

Why Peru losing their World Cup spot will not benefit Italy

November 24, 2017 By Ali M.
Reports have emerged claiming the Azzurri might replace the South American nation in next year's tournament over Peru's government involvement in football.

Italy fans have most probably heard the news already: the Azzurri could be in contention for a World Cup spot despite losing their playoff. The 1-0 loss to Sweden ended their hope of making it to Russia, but the four-time champion has been handed a lifeline.

Tuttosport argues that Ventura’s side could and should be handed a spot in next year’s tournament should a vacancy emerge. An empty slot could pop up considering what’s going on in Peru.

The South American side secured qualification by beating New Zealand in the inter-continental playoffs but could be removed by none other than FIFA. The reason is that Peru’s football association could fall under the control of the government, as stated in a legislation brought up by congresswoman Paloma Noceda. 

Football’s world governing body is known for its zero tolerance for government involvement in football. Kenya, who had dissolved their football federation, was slapped with an international ban in 2006 as a result.

If Peru met the same punishment, the choice of replacing them would fall to FIFA. Several countries have been mentioned, but there is no denying that the 2006 World Cup winner is the biggest nation to miss out and would thus be the favorite.

However, there is one FIFA rule which would prevent Italy from being chosen. The law states that a maximum of 13 European nations can participate in a World Cup, excluding the host country. UEFA has 14 teams in the tournament, possibly ruling out Italy and Netherlands.

2018 World Cup, World Cup qualifiers, Europe

Chile would be a realistic option since they represent South America. New Zealand, who lost the playoff to Peru, could also be given the spot should it arise.

The 2018 World Cup draw is scheduled to take place on December 1 - with or without Peru. All the participating nations will discover their group and round 1 opponents in the highly-anticipated tournament.

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