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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Ethiopia's tough mission
Damian Zane
BBC Sport, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia's national team
Ethiopia have a poor away record
There is excitement in Ethiopia at the prospect of the national team qualifying for the Nations Cup finals for the first time in 22 years.

But as everyone realises that only a win against Guinea in Conakry will do, no one is celebrating yet.

Coach Asrat Haile promised, as one newspaper put it in a headline, to "attack, attack, attack." He is quoted as saying that the team "will play its heart out."

But the Ethiopians must defy their poor away record to stand any chance of booking their place at Tunisia 2004.

Ethiopia's progress so far has been bumpy, with patchy performances on the pitch and trouble off it.

The 1962 African champions started their qualifying campaign last year with German coach Jochen Figge.

He was sacked in May, officially for technical reasons, but many think it was because of differences with the football federation.

Local man Asrat Haile took over but he subsequently threatened to resign, saying a government official had made defamatory remarks about him.

Ethiopia back in contention
22 Jun 03  |  African
Ethiopia sacks Figge
12 May 03  |  African

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