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Ethiopia to host Rwanda in CHAN playoff

Ethiopia to host Rwanda in CHAN playoff

After its request for the postponement of the match against Rwanda (for the 2018 CHAN tournament qualification) was rejected by the football governing body of the continent— Confederation of African Football (CAF) — the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has decided to confirm the Walias reluctantly to the playoffs against Rwanda, and the match is going to take place tomorrow at Addis Ababa Stadium.

The federation was requesting CAF to reschedule the match due to the shortage of time for the proper preparation of the national team and the clash with the starting of 2017/18 Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) season. 

Following the confirmation of the federation to the playoff match the newly appointed coach of the national team, Ashenafi Bekele, has selected players from different clubs for the upcoming match.

Walias will host Rwanda in the first leg of the playoff to try its second chance at joining 2018 CHAN tournament which will be hosted by Morocco following CAF’s decision to move it from Kenya due to inadequate preparation.

The return leg will be on 12 November in Rwanda.  Morocco had already qualified for the competition after eliminating Egypt. Since Egypt was disqualified from the tournament after it was defeated by Morocco and Morocco is selected by CAF to host the tournament, which gives her the opportunity to participate directly, CAF turned to Egypt to take up the spot left void by Morocco. However, Egyptians refused to receive the offer to focus on their world cup campaign. 

Ethiopian national team was dropped off from 2018 CHAN qualifier after it was defeated by Sudan 2-1 in aggregate. The Walias drew in the first leg at Hawassa stadium and lost 1-0 in the second leg. To try its second chance coach Ashenafi has named 27 players.

Ashenafi called new players like Henok Adugna(Jimma Aba Jiffar), Amanuel Geberemicheal (Mekele City), while Ethiopian Coffee midfielder Mesud Mohammed and Dedebit goalie Tarike Getenet are also recalled back to the squad.

The 2018 African nation’s championship is the fifth edition of African nations Championships. The tournament is allowed only to players who are played at the local league.

It is scheduled to take place between January 12 and February 4, 2018. In February 2016, Kenya was announced as the host nation but in September 2017, CAF made a decision to change the host nation due to the lack of progress with the preparations.  Morocco was announced as the host nation in October 2017.

DR Congo is the defending champions but failed to qualify for the first time ever losing to Congo on away goal rule.