After Colombia and Peru allegedly conspired in the final moments during their World Cup qualifier, Chilean fans were desperately looking for revenge of some kind. Though they never received it, they can find solace in Peru’s misfortune today, as it’s being reported that Peru’s star striker Paolo Guerrero has tested positive for a “social drug.” The test happened after Peru’s qualifier match against Argentina, four days before the Colombia game.
This news hits Peru hard ahead of the first leg of their World Cup playoff against New Zealand on November 11th. The Peruvian captain has not been suspended yet, as officials are waiting for the results of a “B” test to confirm the first negative test.
Guerrero played 90 mins in the qualifier in question against Argentina, which finished 0-0. He scored six times for Peru in qualifying play, including on an indirect free kick to tie the Colombia match at 1-1. He recently missed the last four games with his Brazilian club Flamengo with an injury to his left thigh.
This is a critical blow to Peru, who may look to replace Guerrero with 33-year-old Raul Ruidiaz. According to ESPN’s Andres Agulla the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) is aware of the situation although they have yet to make a comment. FIFA is also yet to comment, as Guerrero’s agent had vehemently denied all reports thus far.
Peru will face a tall challenge without its best player against a hungry New Zealand side looking to make the World Cup after missing the 2014 edition. Peru, meanwhile, is looking to make its first World Cup since 1982.