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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Ethiopia announce withdrawal from Cecafa Cup

06:28 GMT 04/12/2019
Ethiopia Cecafa
The Ethiopian Football Federation confirmed the nation’s withdrawal from the oldest football tournament on the continent

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has confirmed the nation’s withdrawal from the imminent Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup which begins on Saturday, December 7.

This year’s competition, which comprises of participants from East Africa, is to be held in Uganda from the aforementioned date to December 19.

While an official reason hasn’t been given for the withdrawal, BBC Sport understands financial constraints played a role in the nation’s decision to pull out.

Ethiopia’s decision to withdraw from the soon-to-commence competition means their highly-anticipated encounter with Eritrea will not be going ahead as expected.

Both countries haven’t faced off at senior level since a border war which started in 1998 ruined diplomatic relations for years.

Friendly ties between both countries were resumed in 2018, with peace returning to the warring area, prompting the excitement over the fixture.

However, the EFF’s choice means the anticipated match will have to wait, and Group A will now comprise of hosts Uganda, Burundi and Eritrea.

Furthermore, the Federation has also stated the nation’s non-involvement in the Cecafa Women's Under-17 Challenge Cup, also hosted by Uganda.

The consequence of their non-participation means Group A will consist of Uganda, South Sudan and Eritrea, while Group B comprises of Tanzania, Burundi and Djibouti.

The women’s competition also runs simultaneously with the Senior Challenge Cup from December 7 to 19.