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Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:27 UK

Ethiopia aim for end of Fifa ban

Ethiopian football is in tatters with the country banned by Fifa and having been thrown out of the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Ethiopia fans
Ethiopia might take its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
And while there seems to be no way back as far as qualifying for 2010 is concerned, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) is determined to have the Fifa ban lifted.

A faction of the EFF is considering taking its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the highest body for resolving sporting disputes.

World football's governing body decided last Friday that Ethiopia's results in Group 8 would be cancelled and that the team will play no further part in the qualifiers.

This followed a the EFF's suspension by Fifa on 29 July for failing to follow a roadmap to solve a leadership crisis.

As far as Fifa is concerned, a faction led by Dr Ashebir Woldegeorgis is in charge of the EFF.

But Dr Ashebir is unable to carry out business as another leadership headed by Ahmed Yasin is running the affairs of the EFF.

A spokesman for Ahmed's faction, Yibaltal Getahun, told the BBC that they might take the case to CAS.

We've been working to develop our national football, so this is a setback

Yibaltal Getahun

"We're hoping to reverse this suspension, we've already employed experienced international lawyers, and we have the chance to appeal to CAS," said Yibaltal.

"We still have a chance to cancel our Fifa suspension through the courts."

It is unclear, however, as to whether CAS would deal with an EFF leadership that is not recognised by Fifa.

The long-running dispute has resulted in the game suffering.

Ethiopia were in with a chance of reaching the second group phase of the 2010 qualifiers, but will now play little international football over the next two years.

"We've been working to develop our national football, so this is a setback," said Yibaltal.

"But Fifa has been sending us letters from 29 July so as a federation it's difficult to say that this is not surprising news."

see also
Ethiopia kicked out of World Cup
12 Sep 08 |  African
Fifa cancels Ethiopia v Morocco
29 Aug 08 |  African
Ethiopia suspended by Fifa
29 Jul 08 |  African
Ethiopia reject Fifa road-map
28 Feb 08 |  African
2010 World Cup Qualifiers
22 Jun 08 |  African

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