Bahir Dar stadium fails inspection
The Ethiopian national team will not play at home for its qualifying matches for the upcoming African Cup of Nations to be held in Cote D’Ivoire, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said.
CAF banned Ethiopia due to failures to meet at least seven required criteria’s to host international matches. A delegate from CAF visited Bahir Dar international stadium for assessments ahead of their AFCON qualifier group matches to be held next month.
However, the only venue capable to host home matches was unable to fulfill the requirements after the inspection team deemed the facility unfit to host international matches, forcing the national team to play outside of the country.
The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) in a statement said “Ethiopia has not been allowed to compete in the field and that efforts have been made in the region to upgrade the Bahir Dar stadium.”
However, according to a report by a Ugandan expert sent by CAF, the stadium still does not meet CAF standards and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers have been postponed until May 12, 2022.
According to the report, the stadium needs a profound investment in order to meet CAF standards. The inspection team noted that the stadium needed a new field and an automatic irrigation system.
CAF had previously ordered the Federation to meet at least seven of its requirements, including upgrading the standards of medical, VIP, Media centers and training facilities.
Dressing rooms were to be completely redesigned as they do not meet the requirement. Bath, toilet seats, lockers, massage tables, tactical board, hot and cold water, air conditioning are also mentioned by the inspection team.
The team also pointed out that the renovation of stadium gates and standard one-person seating, roofing, food, entertainment services, standard fire safety, emergency signs, parking service, large screens, electrical systems, and first aid and treatment supplies has not been fulfilled.
According to the EFF, since the last inspection, several renovation works have been carried out on the stadium as per CAFs requirement.
CAF had notified the EFF to choose where the national team would play their home matches by May 11, 2022. Accordingly, the EFF chose Malawi as its home venue for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers.
Walias have been drawn in group D with Egypt, Malawi, and Guinea to qualify for the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.