Now Fifa probes Ethiopia spitting

2013-06-23 10:00

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Safa confirms sending two letters.

The SA Football Association (Safa) has sent two letters to the world football governing body, Fifa, to investigate Ethiopia on two fronts.

Safa wants Fifa not only to probe Ethiopia for flouting the Disciplinary Code by using an ­ineligible player, but to look at the alleged spitting incident involving midfielder Dean Furman.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble confirmed sending two letters to Fifa, but said he did not want to prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

But South Africans hoping that Fifa will dock Ethiopia six points for fielding midfielder Minyahile Beyene, who was ineligible to play in two World Cup qualifiers, could be disappointed by Article 19.5 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code. (See box on the right)

The article states that Fifa cannot punish offenders twice for the same offence.

Fifa is already investigating the eligibility of Beyene for the 2-1 victory over Botswana on June 8.

The player should have been suspended for the fixture, having picked up two yellow cards in the qualification campaign. He also played against South Africa last Sunday.

Ethiopia FA has already admitted to fielding Beyene illegally and are set to lose three points.

As things stand, Bafana Bafanaare out of contention for the final qualifiers, but with Ethiopia almost certain to lose the three points against Botswana, Gordon Igesund’s charges may be thrown a lifeline.

If Fifa chose to implement the deduction of points on Ethiopia, which is the mandatory penalty for fielding an ineligible player, Bafana would trail Group A leaders by two points and hold a superior goal difference heading into the last group matches on September 6.

Bafana would have to beat Botswana at home and hope Central African Republic (CAR) steal a point from Ethiopia when the two nations meet in 11 weeks’ time.

South Africans will also be hoping that Fifa takes the match to the CAR capital, Bangui, as this would give The Wild Beasts home ground advantage.

Mumble disclosed that Fifa had enquired from Safa about the spitting incident.

After last Sunday’s match, Furman ranted on Twitter about the incident.

“I’ve seen some things in the game, but to be spat in the face by another player is the lowest of the low. Ethiopia No?20, you are a disgrace to football and your country. I hope FIFA/CAF investigates this matter properly!” he tweeted.

Mumble said Fifa asked for more information on this. “We have furnished them with video clips from the match so they can look into the incident.

“We don’t know if the referee included it in his report?.?.?.”

Fifa Disciplinary Code

Article 17: Caution –17.3: If a player receives a caution in two separate matches of the same Fifa competition, he is automatically suspended from the next match in that competition.

Article 19: Match suspension –19.5: A match suspension is regarded as no longer pending if a match is retroactively forfeited because a player took part in a match despite being ineligible.

This also applies to the match suspension imposed on the player who took part in the match despite being ineligible.

Article 55: Ineligibility – 55.1: If a player takes part in an official match despite being ineligible, his team will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match and paying a minimum fine of 6?000 Swiss Francs (R65?200).

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