Coach Gebremedhin speaking to the players during their training at Addis Ababa Stadium (Image EFF)

The Walias head to Guinea-Bissau for FIFA World Cup 26 Qualifier

The Ethiopian national team travelled to Guinea-Bissau today for the CAF qualifying for the Fifa World Cup 2026 against the West African side.

The Walias are one of the 21 teams looking for their first win as Africa’s World Cup qualifiers resume this week after a six-month break in play.

Coach Gebremedhin Haile selected the preliminary 26-player squad in preparation for the match day three and four of the qualifier.

The coach announced his final 23-player team before making the trip to Bissau on Monday. Yared Baye, Chernet Gugssa and Habtamu Tadesse did not make it to the final team.

The Walias will take on Guinea-Bissau at the Estádio 24 de Setembro stadium on Thursday. They will then travel to Morocco to face Djibouti on Monday, June 9, at Stade El Abdi.

Gebremedhin’s side are already playing catch-up with Group A leaders after a goalless draw vs Sierra Leone and a 0-3 defeat to Burkina Faso last November.

Egypt top the group with six points followed by Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau – both collected four points. Sierra Leone and Ethiopia each have a point while Djibouti who still hunt for a median point, sit at the bottom of the group.

There are nine groups in the African preliminaries where the winner qualifies for the 2026 finals. The four best runners-up get a further chance to qualify in a two-tier playoff system.

Ethiopian 23-player squad

Goalkeepers: Seid Habtamu, Abubeker Nura, and Friew Getahun

Defenders: Milion Solomon, Remedan Yesuf, Yared Kasaye, Fetudin Jemal, Fikru Alemayehu, Birhanu Bekele, Frezer Kassa, and Git Katkouth

Midfielders: Gatoch Panom, Wegene Gezahegn, Abdulkerim Worku, Abenet Demissie, Biruk Markos, Fuad Fereja, Biniam Ayten, Biniam Belay,

Forwards: Biniam Fikru, Kenean Markneh, Mesfin Tafesse, Minyelu Wondimu

Group A Standings

  1. Egypt | 6 pts
  2. Burkina Faso | 4 pts
  3. Guinea-Bissau | 4 pts
  4. Sierra Leone | 1 pt
  5. Ethiopia | 1 pt
  6. Djibouti | 0 pts


Matchday 3 and 5 of Africa’s qualifiers get underway on June 5. Below are local kick-off times for Group A matches, according to FIFA

5 June
Sierra Leone v Djibouti
El Jadida, 17:00
6 June
Guinea-Bissau v Ethiopia
Bissau, 16:00
Egypt v Burkina Faso
Cairo, 22:00
9 June
Djibouti v Ethiopia
El Jadida, 17:00
10 June
Guinea-Bissau v Egypt
Bissau, 16:00
Burkina Faso v Sierra Leone
Bamako, 19:00