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Ethiopia and Eritrea announce football friendly

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and its Eritrean counterpart have agreed to stage a historic friendly game between the two nations in Asmara next month.

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Next month’s match will be Ethiopia and Eritrea’s first football game against each other since 1998. Photo: AFP

Both nations have been avoiding games that pitted them against each other since the 1998-2002 border war. But they now want to play again, following Ethiopia and Eritrea’s diplomatic thaw and declaration that the “state of war” is over.

Ethiopia boycotted games against Eritrea in 2000 and the 2010 Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecefa) Under-20 tournament, which was hosted in the capital, Asmara.

Eritrea, meanwhile, failed to take part in the 2015 Cecefa senior challenge cup. It also forfeited the 2014 African Nations Championship first-round qualifier against Ethiopia.

Newly appointed Ethiopia coach Abraham Mebratu is expected to choose the exact date of the match in August.

The coach reportedly wants to prepare his charges for the friendly in the Eritrean capital and the Afcon qualifier against Sierra Leone.

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