Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopia assistant coach, Seyoum Kebede, has defended the decision to test new players at the CECAFA Challenge Cup, insisting it is still part of their Africa Cup of Nations preparations.
The East African nation are sending a squad which includes 14 uncapped players, of which three are based overseas.
Ethiopia’s 21-man squad contains just one regular player from both the Nations Cup and World Cup campaigns.
“It’s been 31 years since we last played at the Nations Cup and we have toÃ‚Â startÃ‚Â thinking about building the national team in a different way,” Kebede explains.
Many were expecting the 1962 African champions to field their full-strength side as an opportunity to benefit from competitive games before heading to South Africa.
Instead the Ethiopians have opted to scour Europe for eligible players, whilst building a second string side as part of their preparations for the Cup of Nations. Read more