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Ethiopia docked World Cup points

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ETHIOPIA-SQUADGENEVA, July 1 – Ethiopia have been docked three points in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign after fielding suspended midfielder Manyahile Beyene against Botswana last month, FIFA said on Monday.

“The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Botswana,” world football’s governing body said in a statement, adding that the Ethiopian Football Federation had also been fined 6,000 Swiss francs (4,880 euros, $6,345).

FIFA said the sanction related to Ethiopia’s decision to play Beyene in their June 8 match away to Botswana.

Beyene had received an automatic one-match suspension after picking up cautions in Ethiopia’s Group A games away to South Africa and at home against Botswana.

Ethiopia admitted the offence last month.

Despite being docked three points, Ethiopia’s hopes of earning a berth at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil will remain alive, as they still lead South Africa by two points and Botswana by three with an away fixture against the Central African Republic to come.

But the ruling is good news for eliminated Group A rivals South Africa and Botswana, who are back in contention for first place and a ticket to the five-tie African play-offs.

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