Peru hope higher powers clear Guerrero

Peru's national soccer team is hoping that heaven will smile on captain and top striker Paolo Guerrero's bid to convince FIFA to set aside a suspension and allow him to play in next month's World Cup, defender Luis Advincula said.

"May God decide what happens," Advincula said, urging fans to join him in saying an Our Father for Guerrero to be cleared to join the squad.

The defender hoped that all goes well for his teammate at Tuesday's scheduled meeting in Switzerland with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino, where Guerrero will seek a lifting of his doping ban to play in Peru's first World Cup since 1982.

"If there's a chance of hope, we're all going to cling to it," Advincula said.

"May God let his meeting with the president of FIFA be positive so he may play in the 2018 Russia World Cup, which is what all Peru wants."

Peru are drawn in Group C along with Australia, France and Denmark.

After Monday's training session, Advincula acknowledged that "obviously there's anxiety" to know whether Guerrero will be able to accompany the national team to Russia but added that he will try to take it as calmly as possible.

Midfielder Paolo Hurtado said that they are hoping "the problem will be solved."

Nonetheless, he noted that the Peru squad has been united for a long time, even before Guerrero was suspended.

"It's a very strong group, ready for anything," he said.

Guerrero, 34, was originally suspended for a year after a routine doping test in October 2017 detected a cocaine metabolite but FIFA subsequently reduced the penalty to six months and the player returned to action May 6 with his Brazilian club Flamengo.

The Peruvian appeared before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) earlier this month to argue that the suspension was unjustified, maintaining that the cocaine metabolite entered his system via yerba mate made in a pot that previously contained coca leaf.

At the same time, the World Anti-Doping Agency asked CAS to increase the length of Guerrero's suspension to two years.

Last Monday, CAS extended Guerrero's suspension to 14 months, keeping him off the field until January 2019.

FIFPro, the union representing the world's professional footballers, asked FIFA to review the case and Infantino agreed to meet with Guerrero.

Peru will host Scotland on May 29 in a friendly in which fans will bid farewell to the team that will represent them in the World Cup.