JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s slender hopes of earning a ticket to the 2014 Football World Cup look even less likely after Fifa revealed Ethiopia may in fact not be guilty of fielding an ineligible player.
Report by Sport 24
According to Football411, Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 defeat to the Walia Antelopes last week left Gordon Igesund’s men five points off the pace at the top of Group A with just one round of qualifying fixtures remaining.
A glimmer of hope had been handed to SA, though, after Ethiopia’s Minyahile Beyene played against group rivals Botswana and then Bafana, despite reportedly having been serving a suspension, prompting the South African Football Association to contact Fifa over the claims.
However, world football’s governing body have revealed Beyene may not have broken any rules, with a statement reading: “A match suspension is regarded as no longer pending if a match is retroactively forfeited because a player took part in a match despite being ineligible.”
That, though, is not the final word as another aspect of the confusion comes in with regards to the player’s fine, where an unpaid bill could see a match-ban remain in place until the fine is paid up.
“If a suspension is combined with a fine, the suspension may be prolonged until the fine has been paid in full,” the statement continued. – Sport 24