​CHAN 2018: Walias Commence Preps as Four Players Left out of the Squad

The Ethiopian national team has commenced preparation for the duel against Rwanda in the 2018 Total African Nations Championship qualifier first leg on Sunday, November 5.  

Ethiopia appealed to CAF for the postponement of the CHAN qualifier but the Confederation rejected the request. Hence, the Waliyas had their first training session this afternoon starting from 3:00 in the Addis Ababa Stadium. 23 players were present for the session while Kidus Giorgis duo Salahdin Said, Gadissa Mebrate and Adama Ketema duo Surafel Dagnachew and Dawa Hotessa have been left out of the provisional squad. Team coach Ashenafi Bekele explained to Soccer Ethiopia on the reasons why the four players are omitted from the squad. “The club (Kidus Giorgis) notified us that Salahdin and Gadissa are injured so we couldn’t get their service. Dawa and Surafel have traveled with their sides to Woldia so making them to return the long journey back to Addis Ababa have made it tough to include them in the squad,” stated coach Ashenafi.

The team has been working on coordination and tactical issues as stated by the head coach. Center back Tewodros Bekele has been injured his arm during the training session. Henok Adugna, Eshetu Mena and Amanuel GebreMikael had their first training session with the squad following their debut call up. The team will have two days to train before tackling Rwanda this Sunday.

Rwanda national team coach Antoine Hey and charges have been engaged in preparation since Monday in Kigali. Coach Hey has announced his traveling 18 man squad earlier today as goalie Eric Ndayishimiye and Djihad Bizimana, who said to be doubtful for the encounter after getting a knock on Wednesday training, made the cut. Hey told Rwandan Medias that he has studied Ethiopia. “We have done our research on Ethiopia, I spoke to my colleague Sudanese coach (Mohamed Abdallah Mazda) who faced and qualified after beating Ethiopia. I am absolutely sure that if everything goes well, we are the better side and we will qualify but football is unpredictable, so everything is open and this what makes this sport so attractive but again if everything goes according to plan, we are the better side, much better in the fifa ranking, better individual players.”
Amavubi’s are expected to touchdown to Addis on Friday night.

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