Back door opens for Bafana
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)
Addis Ababa - Bafana Bafana could still have a faint hope of qualifying for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, after Fifa opened up an investigation into Ethiopia fielding an ineligible player.
Ethiopia is one of three countries, including Togo and Equatorial Guinea under investigation by Fifa for fielding ineligible players during their 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The three matches under scrutiny by world football’s governing body are Ethiopia’s 2-1 victory in Botswana, Togo’s 2-0 victory over Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea’s 4-3 win over the Cape Verde Islands.VIDEO: Bafana own goalGALLERY: Ethiopia v Bafana
Fifa have already found Burkina Faso, Gabon and Sudan guilty of
fielding ineligible players in qualifiers for Brazil against opponents
Congo-Brazzavile, Niger and Zambia respectively and the teams have had points deducted.
According to Fifa protocol, if teams are found guilty of fielding an ineligible player the match result is overturned, giving the team's opponents a 3-0 victory and deducting any points gained by the offending team.
Should Ethiopia receive a three-point deduction they will no longer automatically qualify for the play-offs as Botswana and South Africa would still have a chance of topping the group.
Bafana, currently second in group A with eight points, will still have an uphill battle for qualification, as a three-point deduction would put Ethiopia on ten points, meaning Bafana would still have to beat Botswana at home in their final remaining fixture, and hope Central African Republic either draw or win at home against Ethiopia, in order to qualify.