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CAF gives Bahir Dar, Mekele stadiums green light for international competitions

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has sent an inspection team to Ethiopia in order to assess the stadiums which were built in different regions months ago. Following the inspection team’s report, Ethiopia is unable to host the 2020 CHAN competition, paving the way for Cameron to take the responsibility of hosting the competition.

However, due to the up-coming international matches, CAF has confirmed the newly built stadiums of Bahir Dar and Mekele as the venues for their respective home matches and urged the Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) to prepare the stadiums as per international standards.

A week ago, CAF announced that Ethiopia does not have a stadium capable of hosting international tournaments. According to the African football governing body, six stadiums were assessed by CAF’s inspection team for the tournament.

Mekele 70 Enderta, who was crowned champion of the Ethiopian Premier League (EPL), has now a chance to play its home match at Mekele stadium. Before CAF confirmed the stadiums, Mekele was set to play in Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa for their home game.

Mekele 70 Enderta has travelled to Equatorial Guinea to play their first game against Cano Sports Academy in the African Champions league preliminary round match. They will host Cano Sport from August 23-25, 2019.

Bahir Dar stadium, the second stadium given the nod to host international tournaments, will also see runners-up Fasil city a.k.a. The Emperors face Azam FC of Tanzania in there CAF Confederation match, this weekend.  

This is the first time Fasil City is participating in the CAF Confederation Cup. However, Bahir Dar international stadium has hosted various FIFA and CAF matches. The construction of Bahir Dar Stadium started in 2008. In 2015, the stadium received recognition from CAF and FIFA. During that time, the stadium hosted the CAF Confederation Cup match between Dedebit and Cote d’or of Seychelles. In the same year the stadium also hosted the 2017 AFCON qualification match between Ethiopia and Lesotho. More than 70,000 fans had attended. Bahir Dar stadium has also hosted a match between Ethiopia and Kenya in 2018.

According to the assessment report conducted by the inspection team, the six stadiums dressing room, sanitation and hygiene, sitting, lighting and the turf are not fully constructed. The Addis Ababa stadium has already been dropped from the CAF and FIFA list of venues.

The two regional stadiums are expected to host the upcoming 2021 AFCON qualification, the 2019 CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation continental games.