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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 December, 2004, 17:15 GMT
Ethiopia without a coach
By Henok Semaegzer
BBC Sport, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia coach Asrat Haile
Asrat Haile says that he will not be continuing as Ethiopia coach

Ethiopia coach Asrat Haile, who led his country to their third Cecafa Cup on Saturday, has said that he will not continue in the post.

Haile was only asked to be a caretaker coach by the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and took over the team just two weeks before the regional Cecafa tournament kicked off.

Despite the short notice, Haile's side lifted the Cecafa Cup, for teams from East and CentralAfrica, with a 3-0 win over Burundi.

Haile said: "Taking charge of the team was an emergency call for me, I have successfully accomplished my national duty."

"I've proved myself now, I have won this cup against all odds and now it's time to pass the responsibility to someone else."

He says that he will now go back to looking after the Defence club in the Ethiopian top flight and would not accept a contract from the EFF even it was offered to him.

"I wouldn't accept any contract offer from the EFF to coach the national side," he said.

Haile was a controversial choice as coach, with supporters from some teams unhappy that he was given the job.

Even as his side lifted the Cecafa Cup on Saturday, he was booed at by fans of Coffee club, who claim that he did not give them enough recognition.

Haile lost popularity when, as an assistant to former coach Johann Figge from Germany, Ethiopia lost 1-0 to Somalia in last year's Cecafa Cup.

"That was not my fault, I had no say in that team whatsoever; it was the German coach that made all the decisions," he explained.

Ethiopia win Cecafa Cup
26 Dec 04 |  African
2004 Cecafa Cup
11 Dec 04 |  African

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