Ethiopia admit fielding ineligible player

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia soccer officials admitted they fielded an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Botswana by mistake and said they would not appeal any Fifa disciplinary rulings made against them.

"We have evaluated the situation and we came across the issue that we made a mistake," Sahlu Gebrewold, chief executive of Ethiopia's Football Association, told Reuters.

"We accepted the allegation that this was inappropriate. There won't be an appeal from us being lodged."

Ethiopia are now almost certain to be docked three points, meaning South Africa would get a reprieve and may still be able to qualify for the 2014 finals in Brazil.

Ethiopia, Togo and Equatorial Guinea are facing disciplinary proceedings from Fifa for allegedly fielding ineligible players in the World Cup qualifiers.

Togo will be investigated over a player they fielded in the 2-0 win over Cameroon in Group I on June 9 while proceedings were opened against Equatorial Guinea following the 4-3 win over Cape Verde on March 24.

Fifa said that a decision had already been made in the case involving Equatorial Guinea. They did not say what the decision was but said Equatorial Guinea had appealed against it.

Togo and Equatorial Guinea are both out of contention but a change in either result would have a big influence on the respective groups.

Cameroon would go one point clear of Libya at the top of their group if they were awarded a win against Togo while Cape Verde would move within two points of Group B leaders Tunisia, who they visit in their final game.

Cameroon would go one point clear of Libya at the top of their group if they were awarded a win against Togo while Cape Verde would move within two points of Group B leaders Tunisia, who they visit in their final game.

The winners of the 10 groups will take part in two-leg playoffs to decide African's five representatives at next year's World Cup.

Sudan and Gabon have already been docked three points, which were awarded to their opponents, for breaking rules on player eligibility. – Reuters

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