The Algeria v Burkina Faso mess appears to be over this morning, but then again FIFA has also clearly failed to seal the door shut on this matter.
The Stallions travelled to take on The Desert Foxes in Blida last week and a controversial game ended 1-0 to Algeria, 3-3 on aggregate with the North African side going through on the away goal rule.
But Burkina Faso immediately lodged a complaint. First of all there was the performance of the referee Badara Diatta. He failed to believe Madjid Bougherra’s horrifying lunge on Burkina Faso captain Charles Kabore was a red card, instead showing him just a caution for the two-footed assault. Salt was sufficiently rubbed into the wound when Bougherra scored the winner minutes later.
Diatta also only played three minutes of the allotted four minutes of injury time - while there were also fatalities in the wild celebrations and riots that surrounded the conclusion of the game.
But the actual complaint lodged was in regards to whether Bougherra should have even taken to the field anyway.
The Burkinabe’s believe that he should have been suspended anyway after alleging he was booked against Mali and in the first leg of their tie.
FIFA did not find evidence of this but did advise that they ‘are still in the process of analysing the different match officials' reports and gathering information’ so Burkina Faso still have hope.
When rumours broke of Algeria’s disqualification there were wild celebrations on the streets of Ouagadougou - and probably in the living room of one Chelsea starlet.
Bertrand Traore, the pre-season star who signed a permanent deal with the club in October, has finally convinced the Home Office he is worthy of a special talent dispensation.
The teenager played in both legs of the controversial play-off - but could not have a lasting effect on the game in either performance.
His World Cup dream, despite FIFA’s almost belittling glimpse of hope, is over for another four years - but perhaps it is for the best.
Burkina Faso are a young team, and in four years they may be better placed than ever to make it to the World Cup. Traore will be 22 then and a far more complete player - likely the centrepiece of this emerging African football nation.
Brazil 2014 might just have to be ‘one of those things’ for Traore and his nation - but Russia 2018 could be the year of The Stallions.
image: © Jason Bagley