AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Ethiopia to Host Egypt in Neutral Stadium

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian national football team will play its home match against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at a neutral stadium.

This comes after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) sticks with its previous decision of banning Bahir Dar Stadium from hosting international matches.

Caf initially banned the only venue to host the national team’s home matches, in October, 2021, for failing to meet the required standards to hold international matches.

Last week, a delegation of the African football governing body visited assessed the renovation works carried out at the Bahir Dar Stadium.

The renovation works, carried out by Ethiopian Football Federation together with Amhara region officials, have failed to address the outstanding issues noted in the previous inspection report, CAF informed the Federation in a letter on Tuesday, after reviewing the latest assessment notes.

The Stadium will remain banned from hosting matches until several major issues that the letter categorized in 10 points are addressed, according to the latest decision stated in a 7-page long letter.

The decision comes as the Ethiopian national football team prepares for the first two rounds of the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers. Ethiopia is in Group G alongwith Egypt, Malawi, and Guinea.

The Walias were expected to play their second qualifiers against Egypt on June 6 on home soil after their first clash against Malawi on 2 June.

The football federation now has to communicate its final decision about the neutral venue, where Ethiopia will host Egypt, to CAF until May 12.

The third and fourth round of qualifiers will be played in September, with the last two rounds in March, 2023.