2014 World Cup: Africa’s World Cup Qualifying Thrown into Chaos by Controversy

June 20, 2013

Africa's World Cup Qualifying into Chaos

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The qualification process for the 2014 World Cup in Africa has encountered some massive upheavals that threaten to send it into disarray.

With just one match remaining for every team in CAF’s second round of qualifying, the proceedings seemed to be wrapping up nicely with five of the 10 groups already decided.

However, two of those groups could be back in play heading into September’s final matches, as world governing body FIFA has confirmed, via its website, that it is investigating “three member associations for each having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

The two nations whose progress has been put in doubt are Ethiopia and Tunisia, while the third nation being investigated is Togo.

In Group A, Ethiopia seemed to clinch the group with a victory over South Africa Sunday, eliminating Bafana Bafana from qualification less than three years on from the World Cup they hosted.

However, despite the fact that Minyahile Beyene had been booked in a draw at South Africa and a home victory over Botswana, the Ethiopian played in victories over Botswana and South Africa when he should have been suspended for a match.

The Ethiopia football federation has since admitted the mistake and said that they will accept any disciplinary action thrown their way, according to BBC.

FIFA has set a precedent in this qualification process for such matters, overturning three results to 3-0 losses for teams fielding ineligible players.

In fact, Sudan’s 2-0 victory over Zambia was overturned to a 3-0 Zambia victory for a nearly identical situation to Ethiopia’s.

Should Ethiopia’s 2-1 win at Botswana be overturned, their lead over South Africa would be just two points.

Further, if both that result and their 2-1 victory over South Africa are overturned, Bafana Bafana would stunningly go from eliminated losers to group winners without playing a match.

Meanwhile, in Group B, Tunisia seemed to book progress to the CAF playoffs with a draw on Sunday.

However, the north Africans’ group victory has been put in doubt by the result of a match that they had no part in.

Cape Verde Islands has appealed a 4-3 loss they suffered to Equatorial Guinea in March, claiming that their opponents had fielded an ineligible player.

If the result is overturned, the gap between Tunisia and Cape Verde would be just two points, meaning the group would still be in the balance heading into the September match between the two nations.

Finally, Togo is being investigated for having allegedly fielded an ineligible player in their 2-0 victory over Cameroon.

If the result is overturned, Cameroon would move from two points behind Libya to a point clear at the top of the group.

Hence, the complexion of the group heading into the final match between Cameroon and Libya hinges on this clerical decision.

With places in next summer’s World Cup on the line, these decisions carry huge weight for the nations involved.

While it is certainly wrong for nations to field ineligible players, it is hard to imagine a place in the world’s most prestigious tournament being decided by a clerical error.

Given the way these investigations and the playoff round go, though, that could very well be the case.

Source: Bleacher Report

4 Responses to 2014 World Cup: Africa’s World Cup Qualifying Thrown into Chaos by Controversy

  1. Eyosias Mesfin

    June 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    they over numbered the athletes in London 2012 the same with EFF maby worst Kassahun sounds guiltier than Ashenafi to get fired its a shame to be in this situation never in the Kings era nor in President Mengistus we lost a game for silly mistake

  2. Ittu Aba Farda

    June 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    It is pleasant news to hear they beat such formidable national team which is backed by a huge budget. But in the meantime, I don’t think our team is ready yet to play in 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil. These kids are not ready physically and have not soaked in enough skills to play competitively against such formidable national as Brazil, Italy, Spain or any other South American or European team. Otherwise, it is going to be a one-sided blood bath and will end up a feet warmer goal basket for others. I will never forget the 1965 or 1970 African Cup results. Please never again. I am glad to notice that more and more of these kids are playing in international teams which help them to accumulate experience and tone up their physical capabilities. They will be an easy pushover with their current thoroughbred legs and quadriceps. No they are not ready yet. But they should be commended for what they have achieved so far. Bravo kids!!!!!

  3. qurret

    June 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Majority of the appointees within Ethiopian federation who make the decisions are political appointees and cadres of Tigre people liberation front, and as such are corrupt , inept and only see their own pockets. when you include woyane ethnic politics into football you end up losing.

  4. Berhanu

    June 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Our fa is such stupid zis bcz they appointed in relation with politics.we lost our people during celebration bcz of their,fa’s, stupid work.They deserve death penality for each sloppy fa’s

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