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Belgium win erased from records: Januzaj’s debut, Lukaku’s hat trick vanish

Jun 4, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Romelu Lukaku AP

One of the most bizarre stories in international soccer emerged on Wednesday, as Belgium had their 5-1 friendly win over Luxembourg erased from the record books.

Belgium’s head coach Marc Wilmots will be the man sporting a red face for his error.

In the 77th minute of the match defender Jan Vertonghen was replaced by Nicolas Lombaerts and that was Belgium’s seventh substitution of the game.

You see, FIFA’s friendly rules allow a maximum of six substitutions. When Lombaerts replaced Vertonghen, that was Belgium’s seventh sub.

Egg is all over Wilmots face as the 5-1 victory will disappear from existence and won’t count during the latest FIFA world rankings update on Friday. It will be like it never happened.

However the man you really have feel sorry for is Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku who bagged his first-ever hat trick for the national team but will now see it erased. He must be fuming right now.

Another name you may be familiar also had a big day chalked off as Manchester United star Adnan Januzaj finally made his debut in the May 26 friendly in Genk. Januzaj, 19, has been chased by the Belgian Football Federation for months and opted against playing for his home nation on Kosovo in favor of the Belgian national team.

Along with goalkeeper Sammy Bossut, both their debuts were erased and they must now wait until Saturday when Belgium host Tunisia in Brussels to make their international debuts. Again.

What a wacky story.

  1. dreamoutloud74 - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Yes it’s a violation but i think the blame should be put on the referees. If it was an illegal substitution, certainly the referees should have caught in during the game. If they fail to catch the error, i don’t know why the entire game should be thrown out. It’s like the referees missing Henry’s handball v. Ireland. Or Lampard’s goal/no goal in 2010. the result should stand.

    The good news is Lukaku will score a bunch more in Brazil.

  2. mvktr2 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I’m surprised at times like WC preparation more coaches don’t agree before the game to swap more than the allowed 6 subs as a means of looking at more players etc.

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