Hugo Lloris, Mile Jedinak and Simon Kjaer urge FIFA to allow Paolo Guerrero to compete at World Cup
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 27/05/18 12:50pm
Hugo Lloris, Mile Jedinak and Simon Kjaer have written an open letter to FIFA to request Peru captain Paolo Guerrero to be allowed to compete at the World Cup in Russia.
Guerrero recently completed a six-month ban after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increased his suspension to 14 months on Monday.
The extended ban, imposed after an appeal to CAS by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), means the 34-year-old is set to miss next month's World Cup where Peru have qualified for the first time in 36 years.
The world players' union FIFPro wrote to FIFA on Sunday to request that Guerrero is allowed to play, and Lloris, Jedinak and Kjaer - the captains of Peru's Group C opponents France, Australia and Denmark - have also called for clemency in an open letter released on Tuesday.
"We are writing to you in relation to the situation of the captain of the national team of Peru, Mr Paolo Guerrero," read the letter.
"For the past 14 years he has represented his country with pride, pursuing qualification for the FIFA World Cup. Finally that moment has arrived, with Peru set to appear at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
"Peru is returning to football's ultimate stage after a 36-year absence and we believe Paolo Guerrero should be allowed to lead his nation and celebrate what will be a career highlight."
The open letter, which was also signed by FIFPro president Phillippe Piat and secretary general Theo van Seggelen, continued: "Given the exceptional circumstances which pertain to this matter, we respectfully ask the FIFA Council to show compassion with Paolo Guerrero who has given his utmost for his national team since 2004.
"In our view, it would be plainly wrong to exclude him from what would be the pinnacle of his career - an achievement he has worked so hard for, and for so many years - on the basis of a finding which confirms that he did not intend to cheat and did not intend to enhance his performance with prohibited substances.
"As such, we turn to the FIFA Council and kindly put forward an urgent request for clemency by asked the FIFA Council to temporarily interrupt the ban imposed on Paolo Guerrero during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with the suspension to recommence at the conclusion of Peru's participation in the competition."