Saladin travels to Benin amid injury

By Dereje Tegenaw

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The national team forward Saladin Said is included in the18-men national team traveling to Cotonou to face Benin for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier second leg despite the injury that sparked dispute among the federation and the medical team.

But it is not confirmed yet whether he is to sit out or be the first choice of Sewnet Bishaw’s first 11 men squad.

This week the national team’s medical officers warned that Saladin would face serious injury that can force him to sideline for long spell if he is made to play in Sunday’s game against Benin.

Saladin however picked the injury during Sunday’s much where he placed his team on top of Group A with four points after scoring twice in a comfortable 2-0 win over Central African Republic (CAR) at the Addis Ababa Stadium.

He had to receive medical attention on the sidelines immediately after scoring his second goal in the 88th minute before returning to finish the game.

The team’s doctor was reported on Tuesday as saying “The striker’s future would be devastating if he plays on the weekend’s game.”

Similarly, Saladin’s Egypt-based club, Wadi Degla on its part issued warning to the federation concerning Saladin.

He was also on the scoresheet in the World Cup qualifying opener with South Africa, which ended 1-1.

So far, Saladin has scored five goals in the last three games.

Ethiopia national team claimed a goalless draw with the Squirrels of Benin at home in February and, buoyed by their performance in the World Cup qualifiers, will be hoping to cause an upset in Cotonou.

Team leader of the national team, Afework Ayele was heard saying that he would take the responsibility for what would come and he wants to see Saladin play alongside him against Benin.

According to Sources, Saladin could be out of play for up to six to eight months if he plays the next game and face any further injury.
However, the Federation told local media that the team is fully in a good condition without any serious injury including Saladin.
On their part, sources close to The Reporter said that they fear that he might be injured.

In Group A, CAR are in second position with three points, followed by South Africa with two and Botswana with one point in bottom place.

Source: The Reporter