• World Cup

Januzaj suffers Belgium disappointment

ESPN staff
June 4, 2014
Adnan Januzaj faces the rare prospect of making his international debut twice © Getty Images

Adnan Januzaj's international debut has been ruled invalid after an error from Belgium coach Marc Wilmots.

Januzaj made his first appearance for Belgium in a World Cup warm-up against Luxembourg on May 26, but the fixture has since been struck from official records after the team made too many substitutions.

The match, originally an official friendly, has been re-classified as a non-cap practice game. A FIFA spokesman told ESPN: "Belgium made seven substitutes but for an official A-Match only six are allowed."

Januzaj appeared as one of four half-time substitutions but it was the introduction of Nicolas Lombaerts for Jan Vertonghen after 77 minutes that rendered the match invalid. The news is also unlikely to impress Romelu Lukaku, whose hat-trick in the 5-1 thrashing will be wiped off the records.

Januzaj has another chance to make his official debut on Saturday when Belgium take on Tunisia in their final friendly before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil. Belgium meet Algeria in their opening Group H game on June 17.

The loss of his first cap is yet another talking point in Januzaj's fledgling international career. He was eligible to play for six different countries before declaring himself available for Belgium, while England were understood to be interested in his services if he qualified on residency grounds.

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