Bafana Bafana’s Brazil World Cup aspirations could have been handed a surprise lifeline with the news that FIFA are investigating Group A rivals, Ethiopia.
Gordon Igesund’s men were left with their dreams of reaching next year’s finals in tatters after the 2-1 defeat to The Black Lions yesterday, their opponents going on to top the group, leaving Bafana in second and without any chance of qualifying.
However, it was revealed by FIFA’s official website late on Sunday that world football’s governing body had opened disciplinary proceedings against Ethiopia after “the Ethiopian Football Association allegedly fielded an ineligible player in the match between Botswana and Ethiopia on 8 June 2013.”
If Ethiopia are found guilty they could be docked three points, forfeiting their victory over Botswana, and giving their opponents three points instead.
If that does happen then Bafana will find themselves just two points behind the group leaders, and should Ethiopia drop points against the Central African Republic and Bafana beat Botswana then Igesund's men would make it through.
While the player in question is not named, the Siya crew looked into the situation and discovered that midfielder, Minyahil Teshome, received two Group A yellow cards, one against Bafana in June 2012 and one against Botswana back in March.
The two yellow cards should have forced the midfielder to miss Ethiopia’s next game, also against Botswana, through suspension, although he was named in their starting line-up.
According to the FIFA website, the charges relate to ‘article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and article 8 of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.’
It remains to be seen when the results of the investigation will be revealed, but for now Igesund and South African fans from all over the country will be keeping their fingers crossed.