Iraq lose appeal, Qatar able to play on
Qatar have been given the all-clear to continue their World Cup qualifying campaign after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Iraq's appeal over the appearance of an ineligible player.
The Iraqi Football Association appealed to the CAS after Qatar fielded Brazil-born Emerson in their clash in March.
FIFA had earlier determined that despite the fact Emerson was unable to play for the Middle Eastern nation, Iraq had taken too long to appeal and therefore the result of the match, which Qatar won 2-0, stood.
If Iraq had been successful in getting the result of that match overturned, then they would have finished in the top two positions in that qualifying pool and felt they had every right to demand they take Qatar's spot in the final group stage.
However, the CAS have dismissed the IFA's appeal, confirming the FIFA decision which determined the IFA's original appeal to world football's governing body was not admissible due to the late payment of the appeal fee.
A CAS panel held a hearing in the Lausanne offices on September 10, with CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb announcing afterwards that, as the parties did not request an urgent ruling, the decision would be released along with the grounds in two to three weeks.
"The panel noted that the appeal fee was paid by the IFA to FIFA 11 days after the expiry of the time limit and that the IFA did not have any particular reasons to justify such a late payment," read the CAS verdict.
"The CAS arbitrators also emphasised that the IFA was fully aware of the conditions for the filing of an appeal with FIFA, in view of the correspondence exchanged between the two federations at a time when the appeal was still possible.
"As a consequence, the appeal filed by the IFA is dismissed and the result of the match Qatar-Iraq of 26 March 2008 is confirmed."
Qatar sit top of Asian World Cup Qualifying Group One - which also features Australia, Japan, Uzbekistan and Bahrain - having picked up four points from their first two matches.
They travel to Brisbane to take on the Socceroos in their third game on October 15.