Johannesburg - Sport's highest court on Tuesday upheld a decision by the African football confederation to allow Burkina Faso to compete in the African Cup of Nations, dismissing an appeal by Namibia over an ineligible player.
The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport said it confirmed the Confederation of African Football's decision in November to reject Namibia's appeal over the eligibility of Cameroon-born defender Herve Zengue.
Namibia wanted to replace Burkina Faso at the January 21-February 12 Cup of Nations after losing out to the Burkinabes in qualifying last year, arguing Zengue was not eligible to play for his adopted country.
The Namibia Football Association had twice protested to CAF over Zengue's presence in Burkina Faso's team.
After Africa's ruling body rejected both of those appeals, Namibia turned to CAS.
Namibia said that the 27-year-old Zengue, who was born in Yaounde but is married to a woman from Burkina Faso, still did not meet FIFA criteria to play for his adopted country.
In its finding, CAS said Zengue moved to Burkina Faso in 1994, was issued with a nationality certificate in 2006 and received a Burkinabe passport on March 25, 2011 - a day before he played in the first of two qualifying victories over Namibia.
African football body CAF said in its statement that Tuesday's decision also ordered the Namibia Football Association to pay 5 000 Swiss francs ($5 275) toward its legal fees for the CAS hearing.