By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Ethiopia football federation(EFF) have confirmed they will play against Rwanda in the play off to decide who joins the rest of the teams in the 2018 CHAN tournament to be hosted by Morocco.
Egypt pulled out after being given the opportunity to replace Kenya who were stripped of the hosting rights forcing CAF to announce the Rwanda vs Ethiopia play off however there was uncertainties when word came from Ethiopia that they were not in a position to raise a team due to preparations for the new league season.
Ethiopia will face Rwanda on the 5th of November 2017 in the first leg of the playoffs for a place in the 2018 CHAN tournament slated for Morocco. The return leg and possibly deciding match will the follow in Rwanda on the 12th of November. The Ethiopian Football Federation has confirmed.
Initially the tournament was scheduled for Kenya but due to readiness CAF withdrew the hosting rights from Kenya. And Morocco was the granted the rights to host.
Morocco had already qualified for the 2018 tournament after eliminate Egypt. CAF turned to Egypt to take up the spot left void by Morocco but the Egyptians turned down the offer.
CAF opted to enlist the East Zone. Ethiopia and Rwanda were already eliminated and accepted the challenge another shot. A two legged match has set.
Recent meetings between the two sides show Rwanda on the top. A friendly on the 28th August 2015 saw Rwanda beat Ethiopia 3 – 1.
In the competitive matches played on the 8th of June and 14th of July in Addis Ababa and Kigali respectively, for the 2014 South Africa CHAN Qualifiers. Both teams won home matches 1nil each.
With Rwanda winning in the penalty shootout 5-6.
The draw for the CHAN 2018 is scheduled for the 17 of November 2017. While the 16 team tournament itself starts on the 12th of January and end of the 4th of February 2018.