National football team to meet Burundi in CHAN qualifier Featured

26 Jul 2017

The Ethiopian national football team during the 5-1 defeat at the hands of Ghana in the African Nations Cup first leg qualifiers (Photo File)

The Ethiopian national side who overwhelmed the minnows Djibouti with a 5-1 win in the first leg of Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier are now set to take on Burundi in the next round.

Fearing a possible heavy defeat in the second leg that was scheduled to take place in Hawassa last Saturday, Djibouti opted to withdraw from the qualifiers. That gave the national side an automatic advance to the next round.

Burundi, on the other hand, got forfeiture over South Sudan who were barred from playing international match by the world football governing body, FIFA, due to the government’s interference in football.

After giving forfeiture to Ethiopia the Djibouti Football Federation (FDF) has dissolved their national football team in a bid to 'stop poor results'.

The FDF announced in a statement that the squad and coaching staff have been disbanded as the focus shifts to promising youngsters. The FDF said there is no timeframe on the dissolution.

The federation said that this is not about money problems. It is the new policy of the federation.

The federation rather opted to participate in the next Under-15, Under-17 or Under-20 competitions.

Ranked 185th in the latest FIFA's world rankings, Djibouti - nicknamed the Shoremen of the Red Sea - have never qualified for any major international tournaments.

The 2018 CHAN championship which is biennial football tournament organized by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) is the 5th edition.

It is organized to give an opportunity for home based African players. The African Cup of Nations allows players who take part in European league competition while CHAN doesn’t do so.

 DR Congo are the defending champions. First time host country Kenya will get an automatic place in the final.

The national team head coach Ashenafi Bekele said that he has already begun preparation for the match against Burundi.

The national side participated in CHAN at the third edition held in South Africa. Sewnet Bishaw guided the side to take part in that tournament for the first time in 2014. But Sewnet’s side finished fourth in their 4-team group after losing all 3 matches, conceding 4 goals and scoring none: Libya 0-2; Congo 0-1 and Ghana 0-1.

In the fourth edition held in Rwanda in 2016 once again, the national side finished bottom with two defeats and one goalless tie against Cameroon.

They lost to the eventual winners DR Congo 3-0 and a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Angola.

Knowing this appalling result head coach Ashenafi selected new and young players to strengthen his side.

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