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AFCON 2021: Ethiopia first country to arrive in Cameroon

By Dewah Fabrice Teh -Cameroon

One of the Cameroon A Group Indomitable Lions’ opponents in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Ethiopia, have arrived in the host country a few weeks after the start of the race.

The team landed at Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport around 1345 (CAT) on Sunday, December 26, 2021, via Ethiopian Airlines just hours after departing from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport earlier that day.

Sunday’s arrival makes East Africans the first country to travel to Cameroon for the upcoming tournament which runs from January 9 to February 6.

The Ethiopians traveled to Cameroon with a squad of 28 players after the country’s football federation, calling for three players to include a 25-man squad selected for the continental tournament.

The team left Addis Ababa after a farewell ceremony organized by the Ethiopian Football Federation and the country’s Ministry of Sports and Culture.

The delegation equally carried out Covid-19 tests as required by competition regulations to ensure safety, before leaving after receiving blessings from religious leaders and Ethiopian women.

Captain Shimelis Bekele and his colleagues will spend two weeks in Cameroon preparing the costumes expected to receive significant financial support from the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopian governments have promised to give the team the most appropriate conditions to prepare for and participate in AFCON 2021.

Ethiopia under Coach Wubetu Abate will return to the fray since last participating in South Africa in 2013.

The 1962 champions will be tied with five winners and hosts Cameroon, the 2013 finalists in Burkina Faso and the first 2015 winners and quarter-finalists, the Cape Verde Islands.

A total of 24 nations will compete in the six groups to replace current champions Algeria who will also be ready to defend their 2019 title.

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra-Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

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