Ethiopia national football team
|Association||Ethiopian Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||CECAFA (East & Central Africa)|
|Head coach||Mariano Barreto|
|Home stadium||Addis Ababa Stadium|
|FIFA ranking||110 3 (17 July 2014)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||86 (September 2006, June 2007, February 2008)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||155 (December 2001)|
|Highest Elo ranking||59 (May 1947)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||143 (September 2010)|
| Ethiopia 5–0 French Somaliland
(Ethiopia; 5 December 1947)
| French Somaliland 2–10 Ethiopia
(French Somaliland; 1 May 1954)
| Iraq 13–0 Ethiopia
(Jordan; 18 August 1992)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||10 (First in 1957)|
|Best result||Winners: 1962|
The Ethiopia national football team—nicknamed "Walias" after the Walia ibex, represents Ethiopia in association football and is presided over by the Ethiopian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Ethiopia. The team has been representing Ethiopia in regional, continental, and international competitions since its founding in 1943. The Walias play their home games at Addis Ababa Stadium located in the capital city of Addis Ababa. They are currently ranked 95th in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings and 26th in CAF. The team is currently led by head coach Sewnet Bishaw who has been at the helm since November 2011. Under Sewnet, the team has succeeded in qualifying for the 2013 African Cup of Nations after a 31 year absence.
Ethiopia was one of only three teams (along with Egypt and Sudan) to participate in the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations in 1957. It won the competition in 1962 and while it was also the host; however, success has been elusive since the end of the 1960s.
- 1 History
- 2 Recent successes (2012 – present)
- 3 Competition records
- 4 Achievements
- 5 Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
- 6 Current squad
- 7 List of coaches
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Ethiopia has a long football tradition and was among the pioneers of international competition in Africa, playing its first international match in 1947, defeating French Somaliland 5–0. The EFF joined FIFA in 1952 and the Confederation of African Football in 1957. The team took part in the inaugural African Nations Cup in 1957, where it finished second. In 1959, Ethiopia entered the 1962 World Cup qualification for the first time and faced Israel in the second round after a bye. The team lost both games; and with an aggregate score of 2–4 was knocked out of the competition.
The team won the African tournament on home soil, in 1962. Nine countries entered the competition, including the reigning champions United Arab Republic, meaning for the first time a qualification tournament was required. As with previous tournaments, the finals only included four teams. United Arab Republic, as holders, and Ethiopia as hosts, qualified automatically meaning each needed to play only one game to reach the final. Ethiopia won the tournament for the first time after extra time in the final. Mengistu Worku and Abdelfattah Badawi both had three goals each, but the award itself was given to Worku because his team had won the title. This was the greatest feat ever achieved by the Ethiopian National team, and the only African Cup of Nations title it has ever won. Luciano Vassalo was the team's captain, and the coach was Ydnekatchew Tessema.
In 1963 African Cup of Nations they finished fourth, after losing the third place battle against United Arab Republic. 1965 African Cup of Nations was even more of a disappointment for Ethiopia, as national team was eliminated in group phase by Tunisia and Senegal, finishing at the bottom of group, with only one scored goal.
Next African Cup of Nations was in 1968, again on home soil, and the team won third place after losing to Democratic Republic of the Congo. But two years later, the team went through real disaster, as they finished at the bottom of the group phase, with goal difference 3–12. The worse was yet to come for Ethiopia as they didn't qualify for the 1972 African Cup of Nations at all, losing to Kenya in the qualifying tournament with a 0–3 aggregate. Almost the same thing happened for the 1974 African Cup of Nations. This time they were eliminated by Tanzania.
Ethiopia hosted the Nations Cup tournament in 1976, but failed to progress to the final four, finishing third in the group, behind Guinea and Egypt. In 1977, they played Mauritius in the qualifiers for the 1978 African Cup of Nations. After 4–2 win on aggregate, they had to play Uganda. After 0–0 from the first match, Uganda won the second match, 2–1, and progressed to the final tournament. They also missed 1980 African Cup of Nations. Ethiopia last qualified for the tournament in 1982, under coach Mengistu Worku, legendary former player.
Earlier success in CECAFA Cup (2001–2007)
In the 2001 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia beat Zanzibar 5–0 and tied 1–1 with Rwanda B to advance to the quarterfinals against Burundi. After a 2–2 tie in regulation, they beat Burundi 5–4 in penalty kicks. Ethiopia went on to beat Rwanda A 1–0 in the semi-finals and Kenya 2–1 in the finals to win the championship for the first time since 1987. Because of their success in 2001 with Asrat Haile at the helm, Ethiopia jumped 17 spots in FIFA rankings from 155th to 138th. Despite their success, the EFF chose to replace Asrat with German coach Jochen Figge in August 2002.
In the 2002 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia failed to qualify past the group stage of the competition; they lost all four of their games against Zanzibar, Uganda, Somalia, and Rwanda. In 2003 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia withdrew just before the start of the tournament. The competition only had six participating countries with Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia, and Tanzania also choosing not to participate. The EFF fired Figge in May 2003, even though the team had won two games and was second in their group in the 2004 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Then assistant coach, Asrat Haile was appointed interim coach. Ethiopia failed to qualify by 3 points with a loss in the final game in Guinea. Asrat was soon replaced by Seyoum Kebede whose tenure with the "Walias" was also short lived.
The next challenge was the 2004 CECAFA Cup in Addis Ababa. There were 9 teams in regional tournament: Burundi, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia. Ethiopia was led by captain Zewdu Bekele, and again by coach Asrat Haile who was recalled to the position a mere two weeks before the beginning of the tournament. After defeating Burundi, tying with Rwanda and beating Tanzania, and Zanzibar, the team advanced to the semi-finals for the first time since 2001. Ethiopia advanced to the championship after a dramatic nail-biting penalty shootout with Kenya. The team went on to beat Burundi 3–0 and win the 2004 CECAFA Cup on Dec 25, 2004. That night, people all across Addis Ababa sang and danced in the streets.
The Ethiopian national team was the champion of same competition again in 2005, in Kigali, Rwanda. This time coached by Sewnet Bishaw—after a 0–0 draw with Uganda and a 3–1 victory over Sudan—Ethiopia thrashed Djibouti in a 6–0 victory. They then went on to beat Somalia 3–1. Semi-finals saw Ethiopia whip Zanzibar 4–0, with Fikru Tefera scoring a hat-trick. In the final match, Andualem Negusse's goal allowed Ethiopia to take the cup again with a 1–0 win over Rwanda.
The Ethiopian team did not fare as well in the next three appearances at the CECAFA Cup. At the 2006 CECAFA Cup in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia lost to Tanzania but beat Djibouti and Malawi in the group stage to advance to the quarterfinals against Zambia. They lost 0–1 with a very late goal by Zambia's Jonas Sakuwaha in the 87th minute of the game. On Dec 6, a CECAFA emergency committee made the extraordinary decision to have the match replayed because referee Issa Kagabi (Rwanda) supposedly had whistled the end of the match prematurely. Zambia announced they would refuse to play Ethiopia again. CECAFA secretary general Nicholas Musonye—not present at the emergency committee meeting—threatened that he'd cancel the entire tournament should match be replayed. Ethiopian Football Federation declined to have the match replayed and graciously withdrew from the tournament.
At 2007 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia suffered a 1–3 loss to Zanzibar and a hard-fought 0–0 draw with Sudan in which they failed to produce a goal despite star Fikru Tefera's call up. This was enough to eliminate Ethiopia from the tournament. Being kicked out of the tournament early, the young and inexperienced Ethiopian squad faced a more uncertain future.
Suspension and reinstatement (2008–2009)
In the 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, Ethiopia finished bottom of their group after losing their last two games.
In July 2008, a FIFA Emergency Committee decided to suspend the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) due to their failure to comply with the road map agreed upon in February 2008 by FIFA, CAF and EFF in order to normalize the federation. The road map was established in Feb 2008 following the dismissal of the country's football federation president Ashebir Woldegiorgis by the countries authorities. One of the main points of the road map was the organization of an "extraordinary general assembly" to deal with the "motion of dismissal". In addition, the EFF offices were to be handed over to the recognized leadership of the federation.
The suspension of the EFF came into force on July 29, 2008, the day on which the federation had officially been notified of its suspension. Ethiopia played four group level matches in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification before FIFA announced the immediate suspension of the Ethiopian Football Federation. On September 12, 2008, FIFA excluded the Ethiopian team from the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and the results of their matches were cancelled. Ethiopia's exclusion from the World Cup also led to their exclusion from the Africa Cup of Nations. While it was not clear if the team was also explicitly excluded from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, their failure to complete the remaining fixtures effectively eliminated them from the tournament because the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification was also used to determine the qualification for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. The team also missed the 2008 CECAFA Cup due to this suspension.
In July 2009, the EFF was reinstated after organizing the extraordinary general assembly and electing new leaders as instructed by FIFA. FIFA's executive committee had voted a month before to lift the suspension so long as that EFF organized and chaired an elective general assembly. FIFA confirmed that it was satisfied with the election.
Continued troubles (2009–2011)
At the 2010 CECAFA Cup, in Tanzania, Ethiopia was in Group C with Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. After the 1–2 loss to Uganda, Ethiopia beat Kenya 2–1 and came to a 1–1 draw with Malawi. Next opponent was Zambia, and Ethiopia won 2–1 by two goals.  In semi-finals however, they lost to Ivory Coast 0–1. In the third-place battle to follow, they lost 3–4 to Uganda to come in fourth place in the tournament. Tournament’s star players and goal scorers were Shimelis Bekele of Awassa City and Oumed Oukri of Defence Force. The team had exceeded fans’ expectations by reaching the semi-final stage.
In April 2011, the Ethiopian Football Federation fired national coach Iffy Onuora – just 9 months after he took charge of the Ethiopian national football team. Ethiopian Football Federation cited disciplinary grounds for his dismissal just a month after the team’s 4–0 defeat at the hands of the Nigerian Green Eagles in Group B of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification in Abuja. The Ethiopian national team had played 11 matches during coach Onuora’s tenure, winning 4, drawing in 1 and losing 6 matches. The team scored 12 goals and conceded 21 goals in those matches.
In May 2011, the EFF appointed former Zimbabwe and Namibia manager Tom Saintfiet as coach in place of Iffy Onuora. However, Tom Saintfiet left his job as Ethiopia's national soccer coach after just five months, citing broken promises for his departure. Saintfiet had been in charge for three 2012 African Cup of Nations qualification matches, including a 2–2 draw with Nigeria that contributed to the Super Eagles missing out on 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
Recent successes (2012 – present)
2013 African Cup of Nations
In the qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Ethiopia tied 1–1 with Benin after a goalless draw in the first leg at home to progress to the last round of qualification because of the away goals rule. In the last round of qualification, Ethiopia came to a 5–5 draw in aggregate score against Sudan, but passed to the championships again due to the away goals rule. This is the first time that Ethiopia has qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations in 31 years, and it opens a new chapter in Ethiopian sports history.
|29 February 2012||Ethiopia||0 – 0||Benin||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+3||Report||Referee: Sylvester Kirwa (Kenya)
|17 June 2012||Benin||1 – 1||Ethiopia||Stade de l'Amitié, Cotonou|
|16:00 UTC+1||Poté 19'||Report||Adane 44'||Referee: Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia)
|08 September 2012||Sudan||5 – 3||Ethiopia||Khartoum Stadium, Khartoum|
|20:00 UTC+3||Careca 7'
Tahir 83' (pen.), 90'
|Report||Getaneh 14', 50'
|Referee: Néant Alioum (Cameroon)
|14 October 2012||Ethiopia||2 – 0||Sudan||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+1||Adane 61'
|Report||Referee: Badara Diatta (Senegal)
|21 January 2013||Zambia||1–1||Ethiopia||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|17:00||Mbesuma 45+3'||Report||Adane G. 65'||Attendance: 50,000 
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (Gabon)
|25 January 2013||Burkina Faso||4–0||Ethiopia||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|20:00||Traoré 34', 74'
|Attendance: 35,000 
|29 January 2013||Ethiopia||0–2||Nigeria||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|19:00||Moses 80' (pen.), 90' (pen.)|
2014 World Cup qualification
The Ethiopian national soccer team advanced to the CAF group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with a 5–0 aggregate victory over Somalia. Ethiopia joined South Africa, Botswana and Central African Republic (CAR) in Group A.
|12 November 2011||Somalia||0–0||Ethiopia||Stade National Gouled, Djibouti (Djibouti)[note 1]|
|15:45 UTC+3||Report||Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Mohamed Hassan Ourouke (Djibouti)
|16 November 2011||Ethiopia||5–0||Somalia||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+3||Oukri 5'
S. Bekele 62', 65'
Kebede 87', 90+2'
Referee: Med Said Kordi (Tunisia)
Ethiopia won 5–0 on aggregate and advanced to the Second Round.
Ethiopia tied with South Africa away from home 1–1 and beat CAR at home 2–0 to top the group after the first two games. They beat Botswana twice, 1-0 on Mar 22, 2013 at home in Addis Ababa and 2-1 on Jun 7 in Botswana. However, the Jun 7 win was later awarded to Botswana by a score of 3-0 after it was discovered that Ethiopia fielded an ineligible player. They beat South Africa 2-1 on Jun 14 at home and secured Ethiopian advancement to the third round. They will play their last group game with CAR on Sept 6, 2013. If the team wins third round home and away games, this would be the first ever FIFA World Cup qualification for Ethiopia.
|3 June 2012||South Africa||1–1||Ethiopia||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|15:00 UTC+2||Mphela 77'||Report||Saladin 28'||Attendance: 13,611
Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (Madagascar)
|10 June 2012||Ethiopia||2–0||Central African Republic||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+3||Saladin 36', 88'||Report||Attendance: 25,000
Referee: Anthony Ramsy Raphael (Malawi)
|24 March 2013||Ethiopia||1–0||Botswana||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+3||Getaneh 88'||Report||Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Rédouane Jiyed (Morocco)
|8 June 2013||Botswana||3–0
|Ethiopia||Lobatse Stadium, Lobatse|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Referee: Dennis Batte (Uganda)
|16 June 2013||Ethiopia||2–1||South Africa||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|15:00 UTC+2||Getaneh 42'
Parker 70' (o.g.)
|7 September 2013||Central African Republic||1–2||Ethiopia||Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat, Brazzaville (Congo)|
|14:30 UTC+1||Kéïta 23'||Report||Saladin 48'
|Referee: Mohamed Benouza (Algeria)
|13 October 2013||Ethiopia||1–2||Nigeria||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa|
|16:00 UTC+3||Assefa 57'||Report||Emenike 68', 90' (pen.)||Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Néant Alioum (Cameroon)
|16 November 2013||Nigeria||2–0||Ethiopia||U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar|
Ethiopia lost 4-1 on aggregate and failed to qualify for the world cup.
World Cup record
Africa Cup of Nations record
- Africa Cup of Nations :
- CECAFA Cup :
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
The following players have also been called up to the Ethiopia squad within the last 12 months.
List of coaches
- Due to the lack of security in Mogadishu, Somalia's home game was played at a neutral venue. An earlier Somali request for the match to be played in Nairobi was rejected by FIFA due to a ban on international matches being played in Kenya.
- FIFA awarded Botswana a 3–0 win as a result of Ethiopia fielding the ineligible player Minyahil Teshome. The match originally ended 2–1 to Ethiopia.
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- Ethiopian Team Profile at FIFA.com
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- Latest Ethiopian Football News Ethiopian Football News website.
- Ethiopian soccer at US-based Ethiosports.com.