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Ethiopia admits using ineligible player

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Ethiopia has admitted to fielding an ineligible player in World Cup qualifying, meaning it is likely to be stripped of three points and that its celebration of a place in Africa's final playoffs may have been premature.

The Ethiopia Football Federation said Tuesday that Minyahile Beyene should not have played in the 2-1 win in Botswana on June 8 because he picked up two yellow cards in previous games.

FIFA opened an investigation on Sunday.

If the game is awarded to Botswana by FIFA, the regular punishment for ineligible players, Ethiopia would be just two points ahead of Group A rival South Africa before the final round of group matches in September.

Ethiopia beat South Africa 2-1 this weekend and celebrated what it thought was its progression to the playoffs.

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