ETHIOPIA WON’T APPEAL FIFA’S RULING
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
The Ethiopian football officials won’t appeal the ruling from the FIFA on the matter of fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Botswana in March.
Chief Executive for Ethiopian Football Association, Sahlu Gebrewold, said that they have evaluated the situation and came across the issue that they made a mistake. He agreed that they fielded midfielder, Mnyahile Beyene, who had received two yellow cards on the previous games. This should have earned him a suspension.
“We accepted the allegation that this was inappropriate. There won’t be an appeal from us being lodged,” Gebrewold was quoted as saying on News24.
Over the weekend, FIFA issued a statement, saying that it sets to investigate the matter and give a ruling.
The punishment for a team, who is found guilty of fielding a suspended player is that their opponents are given 3-0 victory. This means that Bafana Bafana who were beaten 2-1 by Ethiopia on Saturday, will be awarded a 3-0 victory, depending on the world football governing body’s ruling.
FIFA is also probing Togo and Equatorial Guinea who fielded banned-players against Cameroon and Cape Verde respectively in March. Should these countries be found guilty, there will be a huge impact in the group standings.
Meanwhile, South African Football Association President, Kistern Nematandani, said that he is aware of reports that Ethiopia is facing FIFA sanctions and said they can’t be reading too much into it. “In all fairness, this has nothing to do with us,’ he said. “It is a matter between Botswana and Ethiopia, but we will wait and see.’
Bafana trail Ethiopia by five points in the Group A with one match to play against Botswana. They need to win against Botswana and hope that Central African Republic either wins or draws against the log-leaders, Ethiopia, in the final match of the group.