Sunday, October 1, 2023
SportWalia to start prep for AFCON qualifiers

Walia to start prep for AFCON qualifiers

Ethiopia will play Rwanda in a friendly match

The Ethiopian national team will soon begin training for the upcoming 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers. On March 24 and 27, 2023, the Walias will play their third and fourth qualifying group games against Guinea in Morocco.

The national team’s coach, Wubetu Abate, has selected 23 players to compete in the qualifying rounds. The Walias will play a friendly match against the Rwandan national team on March 10 at the Adama Science and Technology University Stadium, as confirmed by the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF).

Abubakar Nasir, a striker for Mamelodi Sundowns, was included in the Walias squad but was subsequently cut after failing to recover from an injury in time for the match against Guinea. Following the injury he sustained two months ago against the Orlando Pirates, the striker was unable to make a timely recovery.

Ethiopia is currently in first place in Group D, which also includes Egypt, Malawi, and Guinea.

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Walias’ match against Guinea will determine whether or not they make the journey to Ivory Coast.

Notwithstanding the coach’s apologies for the team’s poor performance in previous outings, the Walias must now take advantage of a favorable group standing if it wants to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Wubetu stated they are trying to establish a rhythm with both new and veteran players.

A number of players from different leagues have been called up to the national squad after Wubetu’s appointment. But their combined experiences and league talent have yet to bear dividends.

Individual errors were blamed for the national team’s failure to advance in past competitions. It is hoped that these will be resolved in the remaining fixtures of the 2023 AFCON qualifier matches.

Ethiopia has been unable to host international matches for two years already because the country does not have a stadium that satisfies the requirements of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). After sending a team of experts to assess the stadiums in the country, CAF decided to ban Ethiopia from hosting international matches. Since stadium renovations or construction couldn’t be finished in time, the national team was forced to play home games in other African stadiums during the ban.

The national team has been touring various African countries since the African Cup qualifiers in Cameroon in a bid to secure a stadium for home matches. The EFF has stated numerous times that doing this is proving to be quite costly.

In order to train and compete at the highest level, the national team has been requesting funding from the government. The shortage of funding is delaying the completion of stadium construction and renovation projects around the country.

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