Banned Peru skipper to face Caltex Socceroos at 2018 World Cup

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will face the Caltex Socceroos at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after successfully having his doping ban reduced by FIFA’s Appeal Committee.

Guerrero was set to miss next year’s tournament after being handed a 12-month ban for testing positive to a banned substance following a match in Argentina in October.

But on appeal, Peru’s all-time leading-scorer has had the ban reduced to a six-month suspension, meaning he’ll be eligible to compete in Russia.

“On 20 December 2017, the FIFA Appeal Committee decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by the Peruvian international player Paolo Guerrero,” FIFA said in an official statement.

“The decision rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 7 December suspending the player for one year was therefore partially set aside and the initial period of ineligibility of one year imposed against the player has been reduced to six months.

“The FIFA Appeal Committee after taking into account all the circumstances of the case, in particular the degree of fault of the player, considered a six-month period of ineligibility to be a proportionate sanction.”

Guerrero’s availability will be a huge boost for Peru, with the 33-year-old netting five goals in qualifying to help his side book a World Cup spot for the first time in 36 years.

The Flamengo striker, who has also played for German giants Bayern Munich, made his international debut in 2004 and has 83 caps, scoring 32 goals.