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Jun 18, 2013

Ethiopia field suspended player

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) have admitted to fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier and could be docked three points as a result.

Ethiopia should not have fielded Minyahile Beyene during their 2-1 win against Botswana on June 8 as he was suspended, leaving FIFA to announce on Sunday that it was investigating the incident.

"We have evaluated the situation and we came across the issue that we made a mistake," EFF president Sahilu Gebremariam told Reuters. "We accepted the allegation, that this was inappropriate. There won't be an appeal from us being lodged.

"We are not frustrated at all since we are still leading the group. The only thing to do now is to concentrate for the next game. I am confident that we will do our best."

The win had secured Ethiopia top place in Group A and a spot in the final phase of the African qualifiers for the 2014 finals.

However, a docking of three points could potentially hand South Africa and Botswana a lifeline for qualifying for next year's World Cup.

If the points are redistributed, Ethiopia will have ten points, South Africa will be on eight and Botswana on seven, with each side having one match left to play in the round. Ethiopia play away against Central African Republic on September 6, while South Africa host Botswana.

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