The captains of Australia, Denmark and France have asked Fifa to lift the ban on Paolo Guerrero – the skipper of group rivals Peru – so he can play at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Guerrero – who tested positive for cocaine in October, a prohibited substance he says he ingested from a tea – is serving a 14-month ban.
The letter to football’s world governing body asks for a “temporary interruption” to his suspension so he can appear for Peru at their first World Cup in 36 years.
Signed by Australia’s Mile Jedinak, Denmark’s Simon Kjaer and France’s Hugo Lloris, the document – released by world players’ union FIFPro – asks Fifa for “compassion” and an “equitable and rightful solution” which would allow Guerrero to reach the “pinnacle” of his career.
Guerrero, 34, tested positive for cocaine after a qualifier against Argentina on 6 October and was initially banned for 12 months.
His suspension was halved by Fifa’s appeal committee but the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) and they imposed the 14-month ban.
Peru beat New Zealand over two legs in a play-off in November to qualify for the World Cup, their first appearance at the tournament since 1982.