FIFA probe casts doubt on Ethiopia’s progress to World Cup

BBC reported today that:

Ethiopia’s progress to the final round of African World Cup qualifying is in doubt after Fifa opened a disciplinary probe  against them on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, the East Africans beat South Africa 2-1 in Addis Ababa to seemingly reach the African play-offs.

However, their progress is in question after accusations they fielded an ineligible player in the 2-1 win over Botswana on 8 June.

Fifa is also investigating Togo and Equatorial Guinea for the same offence.

A guilty verdict against all the sides would have serious ramifications in three of the groups trying to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

The case against the Ethiopians is pressing as a guilty verdict will hand a lifeline back to 2010 World Cup Bafana Bafana.

Currently five points off the top of Group A, South Africa would only be two points behind if the Ethiopians have to forfeit their victory against Botswana – and receive a technical defeat instead.

The announcement of the world governing body’s probes will not only encourage South African football fans, for those supporting Cameroon and Cape Verde can also be boosted.

The Indomitable Lions were beaten 2-0 by Togo on 9 June but the six-time World Cup qualifiers now stand to gain the three points should the Togolese be found guilty.

Such a scenario would move Cameroon, who currently trail Group I leaders Libya by two points, a point clear in the table.

The West Africans host the Libyans in both sides’ final encounter in September.

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea allegedly fielded an ineligible player in their 4-3 defeat of island nation Cape Verde in March.

Although the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts have appealed the decision, Fifa states that proceedings are still ongoing.

Should island nation Cape Verde receive the points from a match they originally lost, the passage of Tunisia to the African play-offs would also be in question.

The Carthage Eagles drew 1-1 in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday to seemingly book their place but a technical victory for Cape Verde would lift the islanders up to nine points – just two behind the North Africans.

Once again, the two sides – Tunisia and Cape Verde – meet on the final day of qualifying, with the North Africans hosting the encounter.

[BBC Sport – World Cup: Fifa probe casts Ethiopia progress into doubt].


FIFA’s official website reported that:

FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against three member associations for each having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

The Ethiopian Football Association allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the match between Botswana and Ethiopia on 8 June 2013.

The Togolese Football Federation allegedly fielded an ineligible in the match between Togo and Cameroon on 9 June 2013.

Disciplinary proceedings were also opened against the Equatorial Guinea Football Federation for having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the match between Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde Islands on 24 March 2013, and a decision was recently passed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on this matter.

The EQG appealed against the decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee, and the appeal proceedings are on-going.

The disciplinary proceedings against the three associations relate to article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and article 8 of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.



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