The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has released a list of 31 players for Saturday’s friendly match against Sudan. The game is part of the celebration of the 50th year anniversary of the OAU/AU, but it will also go a long way helping the two national teams prepare for their respective world cup qualification matches next month.
The squad made public on Tuesday is dominated by Dedebit FC and St. George FC with 11 and 9 players selected respectively. Coffee is third with 4 players followed by EEPCO with 2. Defence, Insurance, Hawassa City, Sebeta City, and Sidama Coffee have contributed 1 player each.
Saint George’s forward Adane Girma, who has not played a single match after the Ethiopia Vs Botswana game in March due to injury, is one name on the list that could result in a tussle between the EFF and his club as the player is not a 100% yet and only started light training last week. St George are hoping to have him fit for the CAF Confederations Cup playoff round away leg match against Egypt’s ENPPI however, a premature return to competitive football may aggravate his injury.
Belgium based Saladin Said, who got married last weekend, is not included in the team since he is on his honeymoon. Even though he is not playing the friendly Vs Sudan, he will join the team for the World Cup qualifiers against Botswana and South Africa next month.
The Ethiopian National Team, which currently tops Group A of the African World Cup Qualifiers, will play Botswana on June 8 in Gaborone before hosting South Africa the next weekend in what may possibly be a winner takes all contest.
Sudan, which is in Group D of the African World Cup qualifiers, currently sits 4th in the group 6 points adrift of 1st place Zambia after losing their home victory against the leaders for fielding a suspended player. They are using a different approach this time with a largely youth squad with only 5 players from Hilal and Merreikh, the two teams that used to dominate the national team.
There are various sources suggesting that Ethiopia will play a second friendly Vs Tanzania on June 2nd but the EFF is yet to confirm it.
The match will be held Saturday, May 25th 4 PM local time at the Addis Ababa Stadium.
Dedebit: Sisay Bancha, Aynalem Hailu, Siyoum Tesfaye, Berhanu Bogale, Aklilu Ayenew, Addis Hintsa, Minyahil Teshome, Behailu Assefa, Getaneh Kebede, Zenebe Kebede, Dawit Fekadu
Saint George: Degu Debebe, Biadgelegn Elias, Alula Girma, Abebaw Butako, Shimeles Bekele, Yared Zinabu, Yonatan Birhanu, Tesfaye Alebachew, Adane Girma
Eth. Coffee: Jemal Tassew, Aschalew Girma, Tok James, Efrem Ashamo
EEPCO: Asrat Megersa, Mesfin Wondimu
Defence: Tilahun Wolde
Insurance: Saladin Bargecho
Hawassa City: Wondimeneh Zerihun
Sebeta City: Dereje Alemu
Sidama Coffee: Moges Tadesse
Samuel Yeshiwas blogs about the Ethiopian national football team. Original article appears here