Ethiopian club, Dedebit FC head to Tunis with the odds against them as they face CS Sfaxien in the first round second leg tie in the Orange CAF Champions League on Sunday 9 March.Â
The remaining Ethiopia club in this year CAF interclub competition has a mountain to climb after losing 2-1 in the first leg a week ago in their own backyard in Addis Ababa.Cafonline.comÂ went out to find out more about Dedebit the club;
Dedebit Sports Club was established in Addis Ababa City for U-13 boys in 1995 by Colonel Awel Abdurahim. Dedebit is a place Â in the North part of Ethiopia where the Ethiopia Peopleâ€™s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party was founded and Colonel Awel who was part of the soldier for EPRDF and knew about this historic area gave this name to the foot ball club. The team is currently run by the government of the country.
In its short life Dedebit has grown to provide competition to the traditional top Ethiopian teams namely St. George and Ethiopia Coffee FC. Dedebit won the national league title in 2012/13 (last season) to earn the ticket to play in this yearâ€™s Champions League. This was after finishing second in the previous two seasons. It is youngest club in the Ethiopian Premier league and is currently participating for the third time in CAF interclub competition. Â It is their second time in the Champions League. Dedebit played in the 2010 CAF Confederation Cup and beat Tanzanian giants Young Africans Â 6-4 on aggregate before losing out in the following round to Egyptian side Haras El Hodood on a 5-1 aggregate result.
In 2012, Dedebit participated in the CAF Confederation Cup for the second time and progressed to the second round after a 6-1 aggregate win over Anges de Fatima from Central African Republic. Dedebitâ€™s next opponents were Sudanese giants Al Hilal who knocked the Ethiopians out of the competition by (1-0) aggregate result. Going into Sundayâ€™s return game against CS Sfaxien, Dedebit has reached this first round after eliminating KMKM club of Zanzibar 3-2 on aggregate. But the trip to Tunisia on the back of a 2-1 home loss may spell another premature exit for the Ethiopians barring a miracle in Sfax.
Dedebit coach Niguse Desta sounded an optimistic tone ahead of the trip to Tunisia saying it is possible to win in Sfax. â€œIt is a very difficult mission for us now but not an impossible one. We wanted to win at home, it didnâ€™t happen and now we will try win away and we will go Tunisia with victory as our targetâ€.
Dedebit is the only Ethiopian club left in the CAF interclub competition after Defense FC playing in the Confederation Cup was knocked out by AFC Leopards of Kenya in the preliminary round. Last season Dedebitâ€™s local rivals St George became the first Ethiopian team to reach the groups stages of a CAF interclub competition with a place in the Confederation last eight. Ethiopian football has recently witnessed a rebirth with national team qualifying for Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2013 (AFCON) and Orange African Nations Championship 2014 (CHAN) but with their clubs on the brink of an early exist the question is being asked could the Ethiopian football been catching a cold and heading back into doldrums again?.