agence france-presse
Johannesburg, 17 JUNE: Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Algeria became the first countries to reach the play-offs in the Africa zone of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
However, a FIFA statement issued after the final weekend qualifier said they are probing allegations that Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Togo fielding ineligible players this year in qualifiers.
The standard punishment dished out by the world football governing body during the African qualifying competition is that a country found guilty forfeits any points gained and opponents are awarded a 3-0 victory.
A 2-1 win by Ethiopia in Botswana and a 2-0 victory by Togo at home against Cameroon during June and a 4-3 home win by Equatorial Guinea over the Cape Verde Islands three months ago are being investigated, a statement said.
Should Ethiopia lose three points they would no longer be sure of winning Group A, if Togo lose three Cameroon would replace Libya as Group I leaders, and if Equatorial Guinea lose three Tunisia would not be certain of topping Group B.
A spectacular own goal by Bernard Parker gifted lowest Group A seeds Ethiopia a 2-1 triumph over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Addis Ababa and an unassailable five-point lead yesterday with one round left.
Mohamed Salah followed up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe last weekend by scoring the goal that earned Egypt a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and created a five-point Group G gap over Guinea.