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The Ethiopian National team, the “Walias,” currently in its final preparation for the 29th African Nations Cup final, is going to play three international friendly matches this month. According to the EFF (Ethiopian Football Federation) Vice president, Teka Asfaw, these matches will be played by the team before its final journey to South Africa.
Our sources indicated that the friendly international against Tunisia was arranged through the personal efforts of an Amharic weekly sports newspaper owner, Mensur Abdulkeni, who also organized the away friendly with Libya previously. Thanks to Mensur, the Walias will play one of Africa’s soccer giants, Tunisia, in Doha, Qatar. The earliest international friendly will be played out on December 30, 2012 against visiting Niger in Addis Ababa, then four days later Ethiopia will be hosting Togo. On January 7th, while Ethiopians will be in the midst of celebrating the Genna Holiday (Ethiopian Christmas), the Walias will be travelling to Doha to face Tunisia. So far, the National side has 26 squad members, but is adding foreign-based players. The new faces who are expected to join the team are from Germany (one player), one from Sweden and another three from the United States. The 29th African Nations Cup final kicks off on 13th January, 2013.
In the mean time, it has been announced that the historic Ethiopian National team players will be awarded prize money of 100, 000 birr, the highest to an individual player. It is remembered that Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi gave away 5 million Birr each for Walia and Lucy national sides while Ato Tekleberhan Ambaye owner of the Edna Mall 25, 000 Birr for each of the players. All members of the historic national side including officials, coaches, and support staffs are said to be part of the money prize.