AFCON 2021: Ethiopia first to arrive in Cameroon

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian players warming up during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match between Ethiopia and Ghana at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto. /Sports Inc via CFP)
FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian players warming up during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match between Ethiopia and Ghana at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto. /Sports Inc via CFP)

Ethiopia, returning to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time in nine years, is the first team to arrive in Cameroon for the 2021 edition of the continental tournament scheduled to begin on January 9.

The delegation, including players, technical staff and officials took their COVID-19 tests at the airport before moving to their team hotel.

The squad started their Cameroon stay with light training at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Annex 1 Stadium.

The East Africans are pooled alongside the hosts Cameroon, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso in Group A.

Their opening match of the tournament is scheduled to be played on January 9 against Cape Verde.

The squad is dominated by locally based players featuring in the Ethiopian Premier League with only two abroad based players in Shemeles Bekele (El Gouna, Egypt) and Mujib Kassim (JS Kabilye, Algeria).

Only two players from the team that competed at the 2013 AFCON held in South Africa have made it back into the squad; Shemeles Bekele, Getaneh Kebede and goalkeeper Jemal Tasew.