Gebremedhin Haile Named Head Coach of Ethiopian National Team 

ADDIS ABABA – Gebremedhin Haile has been named the Ethiopian national football team’s new head coach on a year-long deal.

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) announced the appointment of Gebremedhin on a 250,000 birr a month (net) contract during a joint press briefing on Friday.

Gebremedhin, who previously spent a year as the Walias coach in 2016, currently trains the Ethiopian premier league side Medhin FC.

He will perform his Club duties along with his new role until the end of the current Premier League season, the federation says.

Gebremedhin has taken over the top position at the National Football team from Wubetu Abate who left on mutual consent in April. The team have since been under the caretaker coach.

Following his appointment, Gebremdhin said, “I’m excited to return to the national team after more than six years”.

The new coach will be in charge of his first competitive match when the Walias begin their World Cup 2026 qualifications campaign next month. The national team were drawn in Group A along with Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Djibouti.

The Walias’ poor run of forms

Gebremedhin is expected to inspire the Walias who are on a dismal record that started at the Africa Cup of Nations (CHAN) in Algeria.

The team crashed out of the tournament at the group stage, picking just a point from a goalless draw with Mozambique but losing 1-3 to Libya and 0-1 to Algeria.

Their run of poor form continued when they returned to the 2023 Afcon qualifiers after his famous 2-1 victory over Egypt in the second round of Group G.

A back-to-back defeat to Guinea that left Ethiopia with 3 points and the fate of qualifications out of their hands, forcing Wubetu to tender his resignation.

The EFF promoted its football technical director Daniel to caretaker coach to bring the qualification bid back on track. But Daniel was unable to inspire a turnaround as the Walias drew with Malawi and a 0-1 loss to Egypt, bringing Ethiopia’s disappointing qualifying Campaign to an end.

‘Players discipline key’

The Walias will face Egypt again in the 2026 World Cup African zone qualifiers. 

Before that fixture, however, coach Gebremdhin will first play Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso in November.

“We have already evaluated players to select the squad for our first match of the World Cup qualifiers,” he said.

The Coach plans to name his first preliminary squad later today and start preparation that involves a friendly match with an undisclosed team. 

“We will have a mixture of young and experienced senior players,” he said, stressing that he will be strict in his players’ discipline on and off the playing ground.

Gebremedhin’s first fixtures 

The new coach will also face similar challenges to his predecessors of having to play the home matches abroad.  Ethiopia will play host to Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso in Morocco’s El Abdi Stadium, the EFF says.

November 15: Ethiopia vs Sierra Leone

Kick-off: 10:00 p.m. (GMT +3), Venue: El Abdi Stadium, El Jadida

November 21: Ethiopia vs Burkina Faso 

Kick-off: 10:00 p.m. (GMT +3), Venue: El Abdi Stadium, El Jadida

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