Zurich, 9 October 1996 - Following the World Cup Group 4 qualifying match between Estonia and Scotland in Tallinn on Wednesday October 9, 1996, FIFA has clarified the situation as follows :

FIFA had brought forward the kick-off time after a protest by the Scottish team in the night before the match, which was upheld. The protest had maintained that the temporary floodlights installed for the match were not adequate, and this was confirmed by the FIFA match commissioner, Jean-Marie Gantenbein (Luxemburg). The decision to advance the kick-off time was notified direct to both teams some five hours before the re-arranged kick-off.

Mr. Gantenbein reported that only the Scotland team appeared on the pitch at the time designated by FIFA for the kick-off, 15.00 local time. The Estonia team was not in the stadium at that time.

The report of the Commissioner and of the referee, as well as a protest later received from the Estonian Football Association against the FIFA decision, will be studied and presented by October 20 to the FIFA Organising Committee for the World Cup for decision at its meeting on November 7, 1996.

The Regulations for the preliminary competition of the 1998 World Cup stipulate in article 6, paragraph 6, as follows: "If a team does not report for a match - except in cases of force majeure recognised by the Organising Committee - (...) the team shall be considered as having lost. The match and the three points shall be awarded to their opponents with a score of 3-0 ..."

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FIFA Communications Division
Zurich; 9 October 1996


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