Friday, July 26, 2013

Who's cheating now?

If there's one thing I love about FIFA it's how long they wait before announcing that someone has done something wrong.

No...wait...that bugs me.

Turns out that two CAF teams who thought they were set for the playoff rounds will be playing meaningful games when the final match day (September 7th) rolls around.

The hardest hit goes to Ethiopia which might be the best story of African qualifying so far. The Black Lions have been trying to qualify since November 2011, when they needed a play-in home-and-away with Somalia just to get to the group stage. Only two teams from the play-in games still have a chance to qualify.

While Ethiopia looked to have qualified at the end of June after a pair of victories over South Africa and Botswana, they now have only one victory?

Sometimes it's okay to watch
from the bench Minyahile
How you might ask?

Apparently, the Ethiopian team and head coach Sewnet Bishaw forgot the whole "two yellow cards requires a game suspension" rule, and nobody thought to remind them of it during the whole course of the playing the game. So Minyahile Teshome Beyene, we hope you enjoyed playing that day, because it's suddenly made group A competitive again.

Yes, now Botswana and South Africa are alive and in the hunt for the next round. Fortunately, Ethiopia still tops their group and since the Zebras and Bafana Bafana are playing each other next, the Black Lions just need a better result against bottom feeding C.A.R. and they'll be in to the next round.

Emilio scoffs at article 55
Meanwhile Equitorial Guinea forfeiting their recent win against Cape Verde doesn't mean Equitorial Guinea. They were last before, they are last now. Emilo Nsue Lopez (he of the joint Equitorian/Spanish citizenship) and Equitorial Guinea violated article 55 paragraph 1 (the most important paragraph of all article 55), so what was a 2-1 loss, becomes a 3-0 loss.

Again, big woop for Equitorial Guinea, but somewhat of a big woop for Cape Verde who sees their goal differential go from plus 3 to plus 5. Still, since they play group leading Tunisia in September, it's still win or go home for the Blue Sharks. (And actually, since they're playing in Rades, Tunisia it will more likely be win, lose or draw AND go home).

So congrats to Cape Verde, Botswana and South Africa...your dreams live again. And tough luck to Ethiopia here's hoping your little faux pas doesn't cost you a trip to Brazil.

(please note that the happy trails post has been updated to reflect these changes)

No comments: