Trinidad and Tobago has retained its status as the smallest nation ever to qualify for the FIFA World Cup following the suspension of Cape Verde from the final round of qualification in Africa.

Cape Verde thought they had advanced to the final qualifying round by defeating Tunisia 2-0 in Rades to win the group but Fifa’s disiplinary committee decided that Fernando Varela should have been serving a suspension, and hence Cape Verde were thrown out of the playoffs and replaced by Tunisia.

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Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres has a population of 500,000 and seemed to be in with a fighting chance of qualifying for Brazil.

Had they done so, they would have erased the record held by Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean nation with a population of more than a million people.

None of the qualified nations nor any of those still in the running, has a smaller population than T&T.

Trinidad and Tobago had qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany, its first-ever qualification for the tournament, but finished last in their group.