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FIFA probe pours cold water on Ethiopia passage

ETHIOPIA-SQUADZURICH, June 17- World governing body FIFA have thrown Ethiopia’s dream passage to the final round of the 2014 World Cup qualification into doubt after opening disciplinary hearing over the fielding of an ineligible player in their match against Botswana.

In a statement, the governing body said, “FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against three member associations for each having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

“The Ethiopian Football Association allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the match between Botswana and Ethiopia on 8 June 2013.”

Also in hot soup are the Togolose and Equatorial Guinea, with FIFA adding, “The Togolese Football Federation allegedly fielded an ineligible in the match between Togo and Cameroon on 9 June 2013.

“Disciplinary proceedings were also opened against the Equatorial Guinea Football Federation for having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the match between Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde Islands on 24 March 2013, and a decision was recently passed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on this matter.”

“The EQG appealed against the decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee, and the appeal proceedings are on-going.

The disciplinary proceedings against the three associations relate to article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and article 8 of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.”

Ethiopia booked their passage to the final knock-out round with a match to spare by coming from behind to beat Bafana Bafana 2-1 at home on Sunday, opening a five-point gap at the top of their group to invite wild scenes of celebrations in Addis Ababa.

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