Ethiopia soccer bosses to step down
ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopian Football Federation's entire executive committee will step down in September, its president said yesterday.
This because of an error that led to the fielding of an ineligible player in a qualifier which could cost the country a place at the World Cup. Federation president Sahilu Gebremariam said the entire leadership, including himself, would not seek re-election in September.
Fifa are investigating Ethiopia for fielding an ineligible player in the World Cup qualifier in Botswana on June 8, which the Ethiopians won 2-1. Although Fifa did not name the player under suspicion, the federation has admitted that Minyahile Beyene was an ineligible player.
Ethiopia could forfeit the three points they collected for beating Botswana if Fifa find them guilty, meaning they would not yet be guaranteed a place in the play-offs in Africa's qualifying competition.
Ethiopia beat South Africa 2-1 in their qualifier and believed it had qualified for the play-offs with that victory. However, if Fifa deduct three points, Ethiopia would only be two points ahead of SA in Group A ahead of one more round of group games. SA has also asked Fifa to dock Ethiopia a further three points because Minyahile played again in their qualifier on June 16.