Sahilu Gebremariam, the President of the Ethiopian FA, has admitted to the BBC that The Black Lions are guilty of fielding an ineligible player against Botswana earlier this year.
It was revealed earlier this week that FIFA had launched an investigation into Ethiopia’s national team after receiving a complaint that they had used a player that should have been suspended.
The Siya crew reported that the player in question, midfielder Minyahil Teshome Beyene, had indeed picked up two yellow cards ahead against Bafana Bafana and then Botswana, meaning that he should not have played in Ethiopia’s second meeting with The Zebras.
Gebremariam told the BBC, "We're not going to appeal, it's a management blunder. We have accepted the FIFA discipline issue.
"We made a mistake, but we are leading the group and we need to concentrate on the future.”
"We're very much motivated and we know we can qualify."
However, despite admitting that his FA were at fault, the president wouldn’t blame anyone specific. He continued, “The point is that collectively this is a federation problem.”
FIFA are yet to make a decision on the matter, however Gebremariam’s admission of guilt will no doubt help speed the matter up.
If Ethiopia are found guilty and docked three points, a win for Bafana against Botswana will be enough to see them through to the next round should the Group A leaders lose to Central African Republic.