When Peru first qualified for the 2018 World Cup, there was a lot of excitement among fans. This will mark the first time the team heads to the World Cup in 36 years. But just ahead of the start of the tournament, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal to extend Paolo Guerrero’s six-month FIFA ban, which was set to expire this month. As a result, Guerrero – Peru’s best player – will be unable to play until January 2019.
— Cynthia Rivera (@CyRiveraB) May 14, 2018
Guerrero tested positive for benzoylecgonine – the main metabolite of cocaine – in October. He claimed he hadn’t taken any drugs and that the positive test result came after drinking coca tea, according to CBS Sports.
The decision is a blow to Peru’s team and one that is affecting Guerrero. “My son is destroyed,” his mother Petronila Gonzalez said, according to El Comercio. “This is the biggest disappointment of my life.”
The news has similarly rocked fans, who are absolutely devastated. Many have taken to Twitter to call the decision unfair and to share their opinions. Nearly all of the trending topics in Peruvian Twitter (#PaoloGuerrero, #FuerzaCapitán, and #ContigoCapitán for example) are about Guerrero. Check out a select few below.