The Eritrean National Football Federation (ENFF) is trying to reach out Eritrean professional footballers across Europe to strengthen the now defunct National Football team – the Red Sea Camels.
Team Red Sea Camels used to participate in most of regional and continental tournaments representing Eritrea. However, due to a series of defections during regional tournaments, the team has been disband and suspended indefinitely.
The planned new and strong national team, therefore, will consist of players with dual nationality.
In the search for more players, the Eritrean Commission of Sport and Culture has sent several invitations to all professional Eritrean players abroad to be part of this historic national team and defend their country in the upcoming match against Botswana and beyond.
So far, Professional Footballers Henok Goitom (AIK Fotbol), Mebrahtu Golgol (Western Sydney Wanders), Amir Idris / Hassan Idris (Pontefraet Collieries) Samyuma Alexander (Al-Murqani) Ahmed Abdu, Yussuf Saleh has been included in the 35 men, new national team squad.
The ENFF is also in contact with another Eritrean professional players Joel Gebrezgabir (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Nahom Ghebru (FSV Frankfurt).
After a long absence, though, Eritrea is now set to participate in the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers match that was slated between October 5 – 13, 2015.
In the two rounds home and away matches, Eritrea will face Botswana on October 10, 2015, in Asmara. The second round is scheduled between 09 and 17 November 2015.
According to FIFA /Coca-Cola World Ranking of July 2015, there are 26 lowest-ranked African national teams (PMA) that will face off paired into 13 home and away ties. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somali, South Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya belongs to this ranking.
East African fixtures are Eritrea vs. Botswana, Ethiopia vs. Sao Tome e Principe, Somalia vs. Niger, Djibouti vs. Swaziland, South Sudan vs. Mauritania and Mauritius vs. Kenya.
The winners of the first round will continue to round two where they will join the remaining 27 highest ranked African national teams to compete for the Worldcup in Russia.
In recent times, Eritreans made international headlines by participating and winning some major world sporting events such as the Tour de France and atheletics. For these Eritrean professional footballers, this is another oportunity to make their country and people proud in football too.