The matter involving Chile and Bolivia and Argentina who saw it fit to defend el Vino Tinto has finally been dealt with. The independent tribunal, TAS, has rejected Bolivia’s appeal against Chile in the way they formed their appeal against Nelson Cabrera, the player who took the field against Chile last September who turned out did not meet FIFA’s standards of players with double nationality.

This is a huge victory for Chile

This was a fight between one country and another against the ineligibility of a player, Nelson Cabrera and independent of time and how the appeal was made in the end, put simply, he was illegally substituted and can not defend the colours of Bolivia.

This fight was solely between Chile and Bolivia but, of course, the world knows how much the World Cup needs Argentina, needs Lionel Messi and so, Argentina came into this fight to defend Bolivia, Paraguay needs to go to the World Cup and joined in against Chile and help Bolivia, who else joins the fight? Colombia for what? to help Bolivia, who else also joined? Uruguay to help Bolivia. Chile fought this battle against four or five from their own confederation who wanted, with all their possible avenues, for Chile to not get to Russia.

What Chile did was win at a tribunal annexed from FIFA. What FIFA did was bring the problem to TAS and TAS found a conclusion. Their work is worthy of taking my hat off to them. Here, there was no pressure from FIFA, marketing, there was no pressure from Messi, no pressure from Argentina and more so, the presence of Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina¬†at the tribunal, it was useless! It didn’t work!

Chile by themselves won because they had reason and nothing else. Chile won for honesty, Chile won with arguments and because Nelson Cabrera was ineligible to play.

What the other nations wanted was for them to win in secrecy but it does not work that way.

It looks like it is the end of the black hands because in all honestly this tribunal and this saga that seemed to never end had me very, very scared. Being frightened was heightened because of false reporting FIFA would be involved, Argentina and all the pressure from Argentina media who claimed numerously that this was “done” and “already dealt with” and that the points were to be stripped away from Chile and Argentina to leap-frog Chile leaving them in the play-off-zone.

I was ready to be looking at the CONMBEOL standings looking up, but no my friends, we continue looking down on the table. Argentina now, need to fight out of the play-off zone and Chile need to continue working. This is still a long road ahead there are still four games to play and boy will they be heavy.

I end this most in gratitude of and oddly enough, thanking FIFA, thanking TAS for not caving but also in annoyance as the involvement of other parties should not be allowed, countries from the same confederation pressuring and hoping the latter does not qualify from a board room? No.

What does this mean now?

This victory behind closed doors means a hell of a lot for Chile. Chile now can continue as they are and push even harder for Russia 2018 with victories over Paraguay and then Bolivia, Argentina however, find themselves in a spot of bother. Sitting outside automatic qualification and bracing for intercontinental play-offs.

In a press conference shortly after the news of TAS’ decision, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said, “the decision did not depend on us,” he continued that now Argentina must face the reality they find themselves in and change it.

Argentina face rivals Uruguay in a do-or-die match 31/08/17.


Written by javierasilvab

Javiera, from Sydney, just a lover of the beautiful game. Twitter: @javierasilva95 Email:

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