Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Wenger pokes Ethiopia



"Minnows", "rank outsiders" or, at best, a hardly flattering "unknown quantity".

These are just a few of the comments flying around about Ethiopia's prospects in next week's African Cup of Nations in South Africa in the country's first appearance in more than three decades.

Asked about his thoughts on the tournament on Friday, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger told a news conference the Cup was an interesting platform.

"It is maybe the only international competition today where you do not know all the players," said Wenger, who has signed a number of African players in the past including Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor and Ivorian Kolo Toure.

Current Arsenal forward Gervinho will represent the Ivory Coast in South Africa.

"This time in South Africa you will have Ethiopia - if I ask you to name five Ethiopian players, I am sure you will have a problem," Wenger added.

In response Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw, whose side take to the field in Nelspruit on January 21 against defending champions Zambia, said his largely home-based contingent would be out to to prove their qualification was no fluke.

"He (Wenger) is absolutely right. But that will help our team, that we are unknown in this tournament," Sewnet told Reuters. "I am sure that will not be the case at the end of the tournament for everyone, including Arsene.

"Our confidence is sky high. We are looking at going as far as we can with the first aim being the quarterfinals."

Ethiopia, who won the tournament in 1962 after finishing runners-up five years earlier, also lock horns with Burkina Faso and heavyweights Nigeria in their group.

They have had a promising runup to the tournament, drawing with Tunisia before a 2-1 victory over Tanzania in another friendly on Friday.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
EPL refs in the spotlight this week
This week two of the English Premier League (EPL) “elite” referees will feature heavily in very...

Neil Tovey
The measure of Mashamaite
I attended the Kaizer Chiefs Awards and witnessed Tefu Mashamaite hand over his Player of the...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Who will challenge Chelsea?
Gary Neville has said the challenge for next season will be to how to stop Chelsea.

Carol Radull
I want more for Arsenal
Arsenal and Aston Villa are the only English Premier League clubs whose season haven’t ended.

Sunday Oliseh
Soccer stars, spend wisely on family
Emmanuel Adebayor has been very vocal lately in condemning his family of ingratitude.

Segun Odegbami
Three headaches for Juventus
An estimated 400 million audience around the world are glued to their television sets. I am sitting...