Peru captain and all-time scorer Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup finals in Russia after being handed a one-year ban for testing positive for cocaine use.
The former Bayern Munich forward was provisionally suspended back at the start of November and missed his country’s play-off victory against New Zealand. Peru will now have to live without him next summer also.
With 32 goals in 86 appearances for Peru, Guerrero will miss out on Peru’s first World Cup appearance for 36 years meaning Ricardo Gareca’s side will stick with Raul Ruidiaz up top for the tournament.
A statement released by FIFA stated that Guerrero violated Article 6 of the governing body’s anti-doping regulations, meaning the ban had to be enforced.
The Peruvians finished fifth in qualifying, just one point behind fourth place Columbia in what was a very positive campaign for Gareca’s side. Their 1-1 draw with the Columbians on the final day of qualifying meant that they had to overcome New Zealand in a play-off, which they did in style.
Unfortunately for Guerrero, not only will be not feature in Russia next year, but he will also no longer be able to feature for Flamengo for the next year, with speculation that he might be released by the club following the incident.