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Florent Malouda starts as French Guiana captain in Gold Cup despite being ineligible

Florent Malouda

Malouda is cap-tied to France, meaning that, under FIFA rules, he is ineligible to play for any other country despite the fact he was born in the overseas French territory.

The 37-year-old, who has 80 caps for France already to his name, was surprisingly named in French Guiana's starting lineup as captain against Honduras in their second Gold Cup group match, which ended goalless at the BBVA Compass Stadium. The move proved more than high risk, as Honduras are now reportedly set to be awarded a 3-0 win due to French Guiana's breach of rules.

The confusion for the French Guianan FA may lay in the fact that the country is a member of CONCACAF but not FIFA, meaning Malouda has previously been able to represent the territory, and even helped them take bronze at the Caribbean Cup in June.

However, second-tier CONCACAF tournaments do not have to be line with FIFA guidelines, unlike the region's prestigious Gold Cup.

"We are using FIFA rules so a player who's played in an official match for a different [country] cannot play in the Gold Cup," said a CONCACAF official. "More precisely, he is not eligible to play. He can play, but he's not eligible."

The CONCACAF disciplinary commitee are set to rule on the case in due course.

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