Ethiopia
Nickname(s)Walia ibex
AssociationEthiopian Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationCECAFA (East & Central Africa)
Head coachWubetu Abate
CaptainShimelis Bekele
Most capsLuciano Vassallo (104)
Top scorerLuciano Vassallo (99)
Home stadiumAddis Ababa Stadium
Bahir Dar Stadium
Addis Ababa National Stadium(Under Construction)
FIFA codeETH
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 140 Steady (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest86 (September 2006[2])
Lowest155 (December 2001[2])
First international
French Somaliland 0–5 Ethiopia Ethiopia
(French Somaliland; 5 December 1947)[3]
Biggest win
France French Somaliland 2–10 Ethiopia Ethiopia
(Ethiopia; 1 May 1954)[3]
Biggest defeat
 Iraq 13–0 Ethiopia Ethiopia
(Irbid, Jordan; 18 August 1992)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances11 (first in 1957)
Best resultChampions, 1962

The Ethiopia national football team, nicknamed Walias, after the Walia ibex, represents Ethiopia in men's international football and is controlled by the Ethiopian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Ethiopia. The team has been representing Ethiopia in regional, continental, and international competitions since its founding in 1943.[5] The Walias play their home games at Addis Ababa Stadium located in the capital city of Addis Ababa.[citation needed] They are currently ranked 150th in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings and 44th in CAF.[2][6]

Ethiopia was one of only three teams (along with Egypt and Sudan) to participate in the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations in 1957. It won the competition in 1962, while it was also the host. However, success has been elusive since the end of the 1960s. Under coach Sewnet Bishaw, the team qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a 31-year absence.[5]

History

Early history

Ethiopia has a long football tradition and was among the pioneers of international competition in Africa, playing its first international match in 1947, defeating French Somaliland 5–0.[3] The EFF joined FIFA in 1952,[5] and was one of the founders of the Confederation of African Football in 1957.[7] The team took part in the inaugural African Nations Cup in 1957, where it finished second.[8] In 1959, Ethiopia entered the 1962 World Cup qualifiers for the first time and faced Israel in the second round after a bye. The team lost both games; and with an aggregate score of 2–4 was knocked out of the competition.[9]

The team won the African tournament on home soil, in 1962.[10] Nine countries entered the competition, including the reigning champions, the United Arab Republic, meaning for the first time a qualification tournament was required. As with previous tournaments, the finals only included four teams. The United Arab Republic, as holders, and Ethiopia as hosts, qualified automatically meaning each needed to play only one game to reach the final. Ethiopia won the tournament for the first time after extra time in the final against the United Arab Republic. Mengistu Worku and Badawi Abdel Fattah were joint top-scorers, both with three goals each, but the award itself was given to Worku because his team had won the title.[11] This was the greatest feat ever achieved by the Ethiopian National team, and the only African Cup of Nations title it has ever won. Luciano Vassalo was the team's captain,[12] and the coach was Ydnekatchew Tessema.[citation needed]

In the 1963 African Cup of Nations, they finished fourth, after losing the third place battle against the United Arab Republic.[13] The 1965 edition was even more of a disappointment for Ethiopia, as the national team was eliminated in group phase by Tunisia and Senegal, finishing at the bottom of the group, with only one scored goal.[14]

The next African Cup of Nations was the 1968 edition. Again, but this time on home soil, the team finished in fourth place after losing to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the semi-finals, and losing the third place match to Ivory Coast 0−1.[15] But two years later, the team went through a real disaster, as they finished at the bottom of the group phase, with a goal difference of 3–12.[citation needed] The worse was yet to come for Ethiopia as they did not qualify for the 1972 African Cup of Nations at all, losing to Kenya in the qualifying tournament with a 0–3 aggregate.[citation needed] Almost the same thing happened for the 1974 African Cup of Nations. This time, they were eliminated by Tanzania.[citation needed]

Ethiopia hosted the Nations Cup tournament in 1976, but failed to progress to the final four, finishing third in the group, behind Guinea and Egypt.[16] In 1977, they played Mauritius in the qualifiers for the 1978 African Cup of Nations. After a 4–2 win on aggregate, they had to play Uganda. After a 0–0 draw from the first match, Uganda won the second match, 2–1, and progressed to the final tournament.[citation needed] They also missed the 1980 African Cup of Nations.[citation needed] Until 2013, Ethiopia last qualified for the tournament in 1982, under coach Mengistu Worku, legendary former player. They failed to make it past the group stage.[17]

Later history (2000–2011)

Earlier success in CECAFA Cup (2001–2007)

Main article: CECAFA Cup

In the 2001 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia beat Zanzibar 5–0[18] and tied 1–1 with Rwanda B[19] to advance to the quarterfinals against Burundi.[20] After a 2–2 tie in regulation, they beat Burundi 5–4 in penalty kicks.[21] Ethiopia went on to beat Rwanda A 1–0[22] in the semi-finals and Kenya 2–1[23] in the finals to win the championship for the first time since 1987.[24] Because of their success in 2001 with Asrat Haile at the helm, Ethiopia jumped 17 spots in FIFA rankings from 155th to 138th.[25][26] Despite their success, the EFF chose to replace Asrat with German coach Jochen Figge in August 2002.[27]

In the 2002 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia failed to qualify past the group stage of the competition; they lost all four of their games against Zanzibar,[28] Uganda,[29] Somalia, and Rwanda.[30] In 2003 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia withdrew just before the start of the tournament.[31] The competition only had six participating countries with Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia, and Tanzania also choosing not to participate.[32] The EFF fired Figge in May 2003, even though the team had won two games and was second in their group in the 2004 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Then assistant coach, Asrat was appointed interim coach.[33] Ethiopia failed to qualify by 3 points with a loss in the final game in Guinea.[34] Asrat was soon replaced by Seyoum Kebede whose tenure with the "Walias" was also short lived.[citation needed]

The next challenge was the 2004 CECAFA Cup in Addis Ababa. There were 9 teams in regional tournament: Burundi, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia.[35] Ethiopia was led by captain Zewdu Bekele,[citation needed] and again by coach Asrat who was recalled to the position a mere two weeks before the beginning of the tournament.[36] After defeating Burundi, tying with Rwanda and beating Tanzania, and Zanzibar, the team advanced to the semi-finals for the first time since 2001. Ethiopia advanced to the championship after a dramatic nail-biting penalty shootout with Kenya.[35] The team went on to beat Burundi 3–0 and win the 2004 CECAFA Cup on 25 December 2004.[37][38] That night, people all across Addis Ababa sang and danced in the streets.[citation needed]

The Ethiopian national team was the champion of the same CECAFA Cup competition again in 2005, in Kigali, Rwanda.[39] This time coached by Sewnet Bishaw[citation needed]—after a 0–0 draw with Uganda and a 3–1 victory over Sudan—Ethiopia thrashed Djibouti in a 6–0 victory.[40] They then went on to beat Somalia 3–1. Semi-finals saw Ethiopia whip Zanzibar 4–0, with Fikru Tefera scoring a hat-trick. In the final match, Andualem Negusse's goal allowed Ethiopia to take the cup again with a 1–0 win over Rwanda.[41]

The Ethiopian team did not fare as well in the next three appearances at the CECAFA Cup. At the 2006 CECAFA Cup in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia lost to Tanzania[42] but beat Djibouti and Malawi in the group stage to advance to the quarterfinals against Zambia.[43][44] They lost 0–1 with a very late goal by Zambia's Jonas Sakuwaha in the 87th minute of the game.[45] On 6 December, a CECAFA emergency committee made the extraordinary decision to have the match replayed because referee Issa Kagabi (Rwanda) supposedly had whistled the end of the match prematurely. Zambia announced they would refuse to play Ethiopia again. CECAFA secretary general Nicholas Musonye—not present at the emergency committee meeting—threatened that he'd cancel the entire tournament should match be replayed. Ethiopian Football Federation declined to have the match replayed and graciously withdrew from the tournament.[46]

At 2007 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia suffered a 1–3 loss to Zanzibar and a hard-fought 0–0 draw with Sudan in which they failed to produce a goal despite star Fikru Tefera's call up.[47] This was enough to eliminate Ethiopia from the tournament.[48]

Suspension and reinstatement (2008–2009)

In the 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, Ethiopia finished bottom of their group after losing their last two games.

In July 2008, a FIFA Emergency Committee decided to suspend the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) due to their failure to comply with the road map to normalize the federation agreed upon in February 2008 by FIFA, CAF and EFF.[49] The road map was established in Feb 2008 following the dismissal of the country's football federation president Ashebir Woldegiorgis by the countries authorities. One of the main points of the road map was the organization of an "extraordinary general assembly" to deal with the "motion of dismissal". In addition, the EFF offices were to be handed over to the recognized leadership of the federation.[50][51]

The suspension of the EFF came into force on 29 July 2008, the day on which the federation had officially been notified of its suspension. Ethiopia played four group level matches in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification before FIFA announced the immediate suspension of the Ethiopian Football Federation. On 12 September 2008, FIFA excluded the Ethiopian team from the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and the results of their matches were cancelled.[52] Ethiopia's exclusion from the World Cup also led to their exclusion from the Africa Cup of Nations. While it was not clear if the team was also explicitly excluded from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, their failure to complete the remaining fixtures effectively eliminated them from the tournament because the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification was also used to determine the qualification for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.[53] The team also missed the 2008 CECAFA Cup due to this suspension.[54]

In July 2009, the EFF was reinstated after organizing the extraordinary general assembly and electing new leaders as instructed by FIFA. FIFA's executive committee had voted a month before to lift the suspension so long as that EFF organized and chaired an elective general assembly.[55] FIFA confirmed that it was satisfied with the election.[56]

Continued troubles (2009–2011)

At the 2009 CECAFA Cup, Ethiopia defeated Djibouti 5–0,[57] but lost 0–1 to Zambia and 0–2 to Kenya, thus finishing third in the group and getting eliminated from the regional tournament.[58]

At the 2010 CECAFA Cup, in Tanzania, Ethiopia was in Group C with Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. After the 1–2 loss to Uganda,[59] Ethiopia beat Kenya 2–1 and came to a 1–1 draw with Malawi. Next opponent was Zambia, and Ethiopia won 2–1 by two goals.[60][61] In semi-finals however, they lost to Ivory Coast 0–1.[62] In the third-place battle to follow, they lost 3–4 to Uganda to come in fourth place in the tournament.[63] Tournament's star players and goal scorers were Shimelis Bekele of Awassa City and Oumed Oukri of Defence Force.[citation needed] The team had exceeded fans’ expectations by reaching the semi-final stage.[citation needed]

In April 2011, the Ethiopian Football Federation fired national coach Iffy Onuora – just 9 months after he took charge of the Ethiopian national football team. Ethiopian Football Federation cited disciplinary grounds for his dismissal just a month after the team's 4–0 defeat at the hands of the Nigerian Green Eagles in Group B of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification in Abuja.[64] The Ethiopian national team had played 11 matches during coach Onuora's tenure, winning 4, drawing in 1 and losing 6 matches. The team scored 12 goals and conceded 21 goals in those matches.[65]

In May 2011, the EFF appointed former Zimbabwe and Namibia manager Tom Saintfiet as coach in place of Iffy Onuora.[66] However, Tom Saintfiet left his job as Ethiopia's national soccer coach after just five months, citing "broken promises" as the reason for his departure.[67] Saintfiet had been in charge for three 2012 African Cup of Nations qualification matches, including a 2–2 draw with Nigeria that contributed to the Super Eagles missing out on 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.[67]

Recent history (2012–present)

2013 African Cup of Nations

Main article: 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification

In the qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Ethiopia tied 1–1 with Benin after a goalless draw in the first leg at home to progress to the last round of qualification because of the away goals rule.[68] In the last round of qualification, Ethiopia again won on the away goals rule after a 5–5 draw in aggregate score against Sudan.[69] This qualified Ethiopia to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 31 years.[70]

2014 World Cup qualification

Main article: 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)

With a 5–0 aggregate victory over Somalia, Ethiopia joined South Africa, Botswana and Central African Republic (CAR) in Group A.[71] Ethiopia drew 1–1 with South Africa away from home[72] and beat CAR at home 2–0[73] to top the group after the first two games. They beat Botswana twice, 1–0 on 22 March 2013 at home in Addis Ababa and 2–1 on 7 June in Botswana. However, the 7 June win was later awarded to Botswana by a score of 3–0 after it was discovered that Ethiopia fielded an ineligible player. Still, they beat South Africa 2–1 at home on 16 June and secured Ethiopian advancement to the third round after beating CAR away in their final match, which was considered as a historic achievement for the country.[74] The team eventually was eliminated by Nigeria with two defeats in the Third Round, though it remains as the best performance ever by Ethiopia in any World Cup qualification.[75]

Recent results and fixtures

2020

22 October Friendly Ethiopia  2–3  Zambia Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Report
Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium
25 October Friendly Ethiopia  1–3  Zambia Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Report
Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium
13 November 2021 AFCON qualification Niger  1–0  Ethiopia Niamey, Niger
  • Oumarou Goal 73'
Report Stadium: Stade Général Seyni Kountché
17 November 2021 AFCON qualification Ethiopia  3–0  Niger Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium

2021

17 March Friendly Ethiopia  4–0  Malawi Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium
24 March 2021 AFCON qualification Ethiopia  4–0  Madagascar Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium
30 March 2021 AFCON qualification Ivory Coast  3–1  Ethiopia Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Stadium: Olympique Alassane Ouattara
31 August 2022 World Cup qualification Ghana  v  Ethiopia
4 September 2022 World Cup qualification Ethiopia  v  Zimbabwe
5 October 2022 World Cup qualification Ethiopia  v  South Africa
9 October 2022 World Cup qualification South Africa  v  Ethiopia
10 November 2022 World Cup qualification Ethiopia  v  Ghana
13 November 2022 World Cup qualification Zimbabwe  v  Ethiopia

Players

Current squad

The following players were selected for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Madagascar and Ivory Coast on 24 and 30 March 2021 and the friendly match against Malawi on 17 March 2021.

Caps and goals correct as of: 30 March 2021, after the match against Ivory Coast 

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Jemal Tassew (1989-04-27) 27 April 1989 (age 32) 34 0 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
1GK Teklemariam Shanko (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 (age 23) 9 0 Ethiopia Ethiopian Coffee
1GK Mintesinot Allo (1999-12-17) 17 December 1999 (age 21) 4 0 Ethiopia Shire Endaselassie
1GK Firew Getahun (1992-06-12) 12 June 1992 (age 29) 0 0 Ethiopia Dire Dawa City

2DF Aschalew Tamene (1991-11-22) 22 November 1991 (age 29) 52 2 Ethiopia Saint George
2DF Yared Baye (1995-01-22) 22 January 1995 (age 26) 19 1 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
2DF Mujib Kassim (1995-10-19) 19 October 1995 (age 25) 16 0 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
2DF Ramadan Yusef (2001-02-12) 12 February 2001 (age 20) 12 0 Ethiopia Shire Endaselassie
2DF Suleman Hamid (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 23) 6 0 Ethiopia Hadiya Hossana

3MF Mesud Mohammed (1990-02-18) 18 February 1990 (age 31) 17 3 Ethiopia Sebeta City
3MF Shimeket Gugesa (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 26) 15 0 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
3MF Surafel Dagnachew (1997-11-11) 11 November 1997 (age 23) 10 2 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
3MF Haider Sherefa (1994-01-11) 11 January 1994 (age 27) 9 0 Ethiopia Saint George
3MF Yehun Endeshaw (1992-11-05) 5 November 1992 (age 28) 4 0 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
3MF Habtamu Tekeste (1998-09-11) 11 September 1998 (age 22) 5 0 Ethiopia Fasil Kenema
3MF Fitsum Alemu (1995-07-15) 15 July 1995 (age 26) 3 0 Ethiopia Bahir Dar Kenema
3MF Asrat Tunjo (1996-11-29) 29 November 1996 (age 24) 3 0 Ethiopia Ethiopian Coffee

4FW Shimelis Bekele (1990-10-17) 17 October 1990 (age 30) 61 10 Egypt Misr Lel Makkasa
4FW Getaneh Kebede (1992-04-02) 2 April 1992 (age 29) 56 31 Ethiopia Saint George
4FW Amanuel Gebremichael (1999-02-05) 5 February 1999 (age 22) 19 5 Ethiopia Saint George
4FW Gadisa Mebrate (1997-04-06) 6 April 1997 (age 24) 9 0 Ethiopia Saint George
4FW Abubeker Nassir (2000-02-23) 23 February 2000 (age 21) 8 2 Ethiopia Ethiopian Coffee

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for Ethiopia in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up



Managerial history

Competition records

World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to Switzerland 1954 Did not enter Did not enter
Sweden 1958 Entry not accepted by FIFA Entry not accepted by FIFA
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 4
England 1966 Did not enter Did not enter
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 7 7
West Germany 1974 5 1 3 2 6 5
Argentina 1978 2 0 0 2 1 5
Spain 1982 2 0 1 1 0 4
Mexico 1986 2 0 1 1 4 5
Italy 1990 Did not enter Did not enter
United States 1994 Did not qualify 6 1 1 4 3 11
France 1998 Did not enter Did not enter
South Korea Japan 2002 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 4
Germany 2006 2 0 1 1 1 3
South Africa 2010 Disqualified due to FIFA suspension Disqualified
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify 10 5 2 3 14 10
Russia 2018 4 1 0 3 7 7
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total - 0/21 - - - - - - 41 10 10 22 47 65

Africa Cup of Nations record

Main article: Ethiopia at the Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations record
Appearances: 11
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Sudan 1957 Runners-up 2nd 1 0 0 1 0 4
United Arab Republic 1959 Third place 3rd 2 0 0 2 0 5
Ethiopia 1962 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 8 4
Ghana 1963 Fourth place 4th 3 1 0 2 4 7
Tunisia 1965 Group stage 5th 2 0 0 2 1 9
Ethiopia 1968 Fourth place 4th 5 3 0 2 8 6
Sudan 1970 Group stage 6th 3 0 0 3 3 12
Cameroon 1972 Did not qualify
Egypt 1974
Ethiopia 1976 Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 4 3
Ghana 1978 Did not qualify
Nigeria 1980
Libya 1982 Group stage 8th 3 0 1 2 0 4
Ivory Coast 1984 Did not qualify
Egypt 1986 Withdrew
Morocco 1988 Withdrew during qualifying
Algeria 1990 Did not qualify
Senegal 1992 Withdrew during qualifying
Tunisia 1994 Did not qualify
South Africa 1996
Burkina Faso 1998
Ghana Nigeria 2000 Withdrew
Mali 2002 to Ghana 2008 Did not qualify
Angola 2010 Disqualified
Gabon Equatorial Guinea 2012 Did not qualify
South Africa 2013 Group stage 14th 3 0 1 2 1 7
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Did not qualify
Gabon 2017
Egypt 2019
Cameroon 2021 Qualified
Ivory Coast 2023 To be determined
Guinea 2025
Total 1 Title 11/33 27 7 3 17 29 61

Achievements

Africa Cup of Nations :
  • 1 time Champion (1962)
  • 1 time runners-up (1957)
  • 1 time third-place finish (1959)
  • 2 time fourth-place finish (1963, 1968)
CECAFA Cup :

Notes

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