Mohammad Awad | 8 December 2012 |
Ethiopia’s Football Federation says it will not send its team to Eritrea.
ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia and Eritrea have fought wars against one another, but after the two countries supposedly made peace, all should have begun to improve. But that is not the case after Ethiopia’s football federation has said it will not fly the national team across the border to play against Eritrea.
The two continue to maintain an icy and often tense relationship, which has been brewing again recently. The Ethiopian Football Federation says that Eritrea cannot guarantee its squad’s safety.
Federation spokesman Melaku Ayele said in a statement Ethiopia would be more than willing to host the Eritreans for the second leg of their tie in January, but has called for a neutral venue, potentially Sudan, for December’s first leg, scheduled for Eritrea’s capital, Asmara.
Melaku told reporters on Wednesday, “who can give you the security guarantee in Asmara? Nobody can give you a security guarantee … even you foreign journalists don’t get that. That’s the reality.”
The African Nations Championship is a continent-wide competition restricted to domestically based players.
It is unclear what the African Football Association will do over the matter or if they will force Ethiopia to forfeit the match for refusing to go across the border.