Addis Ababa, March 30, 2021 – Ethiopia returns to Africa cup of nations after eight years of absence from the continental showpiece. The Walias’ finished second in their group K contention with nine points following a star studded Ivory Coast who finished top with 13 points.
Ethiopia qualifies in a most dramatic final day circumstances. As they were going to the final group match knowing that a win or draw can guarantee them a spot in the finals or even a lost can still give them a life line but had to wait that Madagascar fail to win against Niger. This is what happened exactly as the Walias’ loosing 3-1 to Ivory Coast, at today’s abandoned match in 80th minute after the main referee felt sick and taken to hospital, in the meantime Madagascar and Niger finished their match 0-0.
The remaining minutes of the game were played after an hour, with the lines man taking the centere refree’s role and an Ivorian took the lines man duty, but the scoreline finished by the same result.
The 1962 African champions lead by Ethiopian coach, Wubetu Abate, who took the baton of responsibility from his compatriot Abrham Mebratu, from the third group match, wins all home games during the qualification, and returns to the tournament for the first time after 2013.
The jubilation erupted across the country immediately after Ethiopia’s return to AFCON is confirmed.
This is Ethiopia’s 11th AFCON participation.