By News Agencies,
THE Eritrean Football Federation has informed CAF of its decision to withdraw from the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations Morocco 2015.
Consequently, the preliminary round qualifier matches between Eritrea and South Sudan are cancelled. As a result, South Sudan is qualified to the next round of the qualification competition.
In February CAF officials met with the Moroccan side to assess and assist in the preparation stage ahead of the cup. Chaired by the Secretary General of CAF, Hicham El Amrani the delegations reviewed various organizational aspects of the tournament, which the Kingdom of Morocco will host from 17 January through 7 February, 2015.
About Eritrean National Football Team
The Eritrea national football team began in 1992. The team affiliated to FIFA in 1998. Eritrea has been a member of the Confederation of African Football since 1994.
Eritrea’s first international match was a 1-1 draw against Sudan in 1992. The game was part of a friendly tournament hosted in Sudan. Unusually, the team represented an independent Eritrea when the country was still legally a part of Ethiopia. Though an agreement had been signed for independence, it did not take effect until 1993.
Football in Eritrea took off after the team affiliated to FIFA in the late 1990′s. The team began entering the African Cup of Nations and the world cup after the millennium.
The world cup has not yet yielded much success for the Eritrea national football team. The 2002 competition saw the team draw 0-0 and lose 4-0 to Nigeria. Four years later the team managed to improve by just a single goal. In two games against Sudan, the team drew 0-0 and lost 3-0.
Several national team players have left the country in recent years after continuing instability in the region. After a 2009 game in Kenya, up to twelve players took the chance to disappear. After a number of such incidents, the Eritrean government began to require a hefty security before travelling.
Eritrea withdrew from tournaments after the runaways. This included the 2010 African Cup of Nations which doubled as 2010 world cup qualifying.
The team returned to competition in 2009 with a young team for the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations Cup. With a win, a draw and a loss after three games the team progressed to the second round. Tanzania were too strong for Eritrea in the knock-out round and ran out 4-0 winners. After the competition, another twelve players failed to return home. This time Kenya granted the players asylum and most later moved to Australia to play football.
Ranked 171st, Eritrea may soon fall if they can’t hold on to their better players after away matches.
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