EPL shuts-down for 45 days
The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) announced that the Ethiopian national team – aka the Walias –will travel to Cameroon on December 26, 2021 to commence their preparations for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
According to the EFF’s announcement, including 25 players, a total of 40 delegates will travel to Cameroon to start preparations and are expected to stay for two weeks.
The Walias, who qualified for the continental tournament after an eight year absence, are grouped with the host nation Cameroon, Cape Verde, and Burkina Faso. They are scheduled to play their first group stage match against Cape Verde on the opening day of the tournament.
The national team Coach Wubetu Abate told The Reporter that the EFF has been playing a vital role in facilitating everything the team needs.
In this regard, the walias will have two friendly matches while in Cameroon. However, the EFF is yet to disclose the details of the national teams they will play against.
It is to be recalled that the EFF had previously requested the government allocate 41 million birr for the national team’s expenses; however, the EFF secured 30 million birr from the government and was promised it would get the rest afterwards.
In the meantime, due to the AFCON competition, the Betking Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) has also been postponed for 45 days.
Elsewhere, the EFF held a panel discussion on Thursday, December 25, 2021, where former Ethiopian national team players, various club coaches, club management staff, and sports journalists participated in the discussions. During the discussion, the national team coaching staff was shown a video analysis of the last continental qualification matches.
Participants raised various questions about the overall performance of the team and plans for upcoming matches. Coach Wubetu, for his part, elaborated on past continental qualification matches in a question and answer session.
It is to be recalled that the EFF scout, David Beshah, has been recruiting Ethiopian players based in Europe. The scout confirmed that nine players are playing in several clubs in Europe currently, and has submitted the list of players to coach Wubetu with some footage analysis.
However, coach Wubetu has rejected the prospects of including the players in the squad.
“It has been a while since our scout began approaching players of Ethiopian origin. However, we are not able to include them in our squad due to the short time we have to evaluate these players. It is impossible to include them within two weeks. So, we decided not to include them in this squad,” Wubetu said.
Elsewhere, following qualifications, over 500 fans and 25 sports journalists are set to attend the event held from January 9 – February 6, 2022.