Ethiopia make swift return
© AFP

Ethiopia may not have had a title to celebrate in December, but their performances in the Cecafa Cup were enough to propel them back into the top 100 on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Indeed, Ethiopia moved up 15 places to 90th in the latest standings, after last month dropping out of the top 100.

Ethiopia's profile in African soccer has vacillated as they seek to fight their way back to a position of respectability. They are one of the founder members of African football and are former continental champions, but they have not featured in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations for several decades.
The next task for the Walyas Boys is now to make a positive start to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers.


Ethiopia have been draw with Morocco, Mauritania and Rwanda in a group where they will feel they have a strong chance to finish in the top two. Morocco will be the favourites but Ethiopia have the potential to advance into the second phase of the African preliminaries.

There have been significant recent changes in the leadership of Ethiopian football in recent weeks, and a new board, full of celebrity names, has been mainly welcomed by supporters.

The Ethiopians have several months now to put their side together for a tilt at FIFA World Cup qualification. The country has several exports in nearby Yemen, but their best known player is the striker Fikru Tefera, who plays in South Africa's Premier Soccer League with SuperSport United.