The Walias in a training session at Mozambique's Zimpeto National stadium (Photo EFF)

World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Ethiopia Names Squad for Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso Games

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s new head coach Gebremedhin Haile has revealed his 30-squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers opening matches against Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso.

The Walias were drawn in Group A in the new African zone qualifying format, along with Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Djibouti.

Gebremedhin called 30 players into his first team hours after his appointment as head coach of the national team of Ethiopia.

The coach says the players will play a friendly match with an undisclosed team in their preparation here before their departure to Morocco’s El Jadida where the two opening qualifiers will take place.

Ethiopia will first face Sierra Leone on Nov 15, in El Abdi Stadium, The same venue will host the day two match between Ethiopia and Burkina Faso six days later.

The 30-squad

Goalkeepers: Seid Habtamu, Abubeker Nura, and Biniam Genetu

Defenders: Amlemhiran Yigezu, Henok Adugna, Ramedan Yesuf, Yared Kasaye, Mengistu, Milion Solomon, Mignot Debebe, Birhanu Bekele, Yared Baye, Fetudin Jemal, and Woldeamanuel Getu,

Midfielders: Gatoch Panom, Natnael Zeleke, Shimelis Bekele, Surafel Dagnachew, Kenean Markneh, Wegene Gezahegn, Yabsira Tesfaye, and Alelegn Azene

Forwards: Getaneh Kebede, Abubeker Nasir, Amanuel G/Michael, Bereket Desta, Tegenu Teshome, Fitsum Tilahun, Chernet Gugsa, Habtamu Tadesse, and Abel Yalew

Africa’s New Format World Cup Qualifiers

Africa has nine places at the expanded 48-team tournament in North America to be decided on a new qualifying format of nine groups, where the winner alone will qualify for the World Cup,

The four best runners-up will play in a Play-Off tournament and the winner will play in the FIFA Play-off Tournament to potentially be the 10th African nation.

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