Senior Ethiopian Football Federation Official Sacked Over World Cup Gaffe

The Ethiopian Football Federation sacked its general secretary on Monday after Ethiopia admitted fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier, a gaffe likely to cost the team three points. (Getty Images

Euro Sport

In a raucous meeting, Ethiopian football’s governing body voted to sack Ashenafi Ejigu but rejected the resignation offer by vice president Berhanu Kebede, who had previously been blamed by the body for the mix-up.

Some members of the football association and journalists at the meeting called for the whole management to be sacked.

Sahilu Gebremariam, the federation’s president, said he was likely to submit his own resignation in an upcoming election for seats in the body’s executive committee.

“This was a massive blunder so we all should have resigned,” he told Reuters. “But we have responsibilities ahead so we voted to stay until September.”

Ethiopia’s 2-1 win over South Africa in Addis Ababa on June 16 had given them an unassailable five-point lead in their group and place in the final phase of African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But hours later, world governing body FIFA said it was investigating allegations Ethiopia had played suspended midfielder Minyahile Beyene against Botswana on June 8.

Minyahile had been booked twice in previous matches and World Cup rules state a player who receives two cautions in the qualifying campaign must serve an automatic one-match ban.

He was shown a yellow card in the 1-1 draw with South Africa a year ago and again in a 1-0 win over Botswana in March.

Ethiopia, who have never qualified for the World Cup finals, are expected to be docked three points meaning a place in the final qualifying round will be up for grabs in Group A.

If the points are redistributed, Ethiopia will have 10, South Africa will be on eight and Botswana on seven with each team having one match left to play in round two.

Officials said they mistakenly fielded the midfielder. Vice-president Berhanu, also team leader during the match against Botswana, said he had lost a letter from FIFA that notified the Ethiopian body of Minyahile’s bookings.

“I never use pens and papers during matches, let alone keep records of cautions,” said team coach Sewnet Bishaw. “I only focus on ways to win the match.”

Ethiopia play the Central African Republic on Sept. 6, while South Africa lock horns with Botswana.

Ethiopia Admits Using an Ineligible Player (BBC News)
In Pictures: Ethiopia Celebrates 2-1 Victory Over South Africa (TADIAS)

FIFA Probing Three Teams – Ethiopia, Togo, Equatorial Guinea

(Image credit:

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Monday, June 17th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – FIFA, the Switzerland-based international governing body of soccer that overseas the World Cup, announced that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against three member associations, (Ethiopia, Togo and Equatorial Guinea) each for having allegedly “fielded an ineligible player” in the preliminary competition for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup competition in Brazil.

The organization accused The Ethiopian Football Association of employing an ineligible player in the match between Botswana and Ethiopia on June 8th, 2013. The Ethiopian federation has yet to respond.

Disciplinary proceedings were also lodged against The Togolese Football Federation concerning the game between Togo and Cameroon on June 9th, 2013.

The Equatorial Guinea Football Federation was charged for violating the same rule during the country’s face-off with Cape Verde Islands on March 24th, 2013. “And a decision was recently passed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on this matter,” FIFA said referring to the case against Equatorial Guinea. “The EQG appealed against the decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee, and the appeal proceedings are on-going.”

For Ethiopia the news came only hours after the team defeated South Africa 2-1 on Sunday in Addis Ababa raising the Walyas’ hope of advancing to the final round of playoffs for the 2014 World Cup qualifying games.

“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,” FIFA announced.

Disciplinary proceedings opened against three member associations (FIFA)
World Cup: Fifa probe casts Ethiopia progress into doubt (BBC News)

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1 Response to “Senior Ethiopian Football Federation Official Sacked Over World Cup Gaffe”

  1. 1 World Cup Qualifying: Ethiopia 2-1 South Africa, Walyas Advance at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Jun 17th, 2013 at 12:47 am
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