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Amid Flourishing Ties, Ethiopia and Eritrea Set to Play Friendly Football Match

As relations continue to flourish between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the old foes continue to engage each other in various aspects.

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and its Eritrean counterpart have announced plans to stage a friendly game in Asmara next month.

The Horn of African nations have been avoiding games that pit them against each other since the 1998-2002 border war.

Following peace agreements and the resumption of diplomatic ties earlier this month, the two countries now say they want to play each other again.

Ethiopia boycotted games against Eritrea in 2000 and the 2010 Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Under-20 tournament, which was hosted in the capital, Asmara.

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Eritrea, meanwhile, failed to take part in the 2015 CECAFA senior challenge cup. It also forfeited the 2014 African Nations Championship first-round qualifier against Ethiopia.

Newly appointed Ethiopia coach Abraham Mebratu is expected to choose the exact date of the match in August.

The coach reportedly wants to prepare his charges for the friendly in the Eritrean capital and the Afcon qualifier against Sierra Leone.

Before the agreement to stage the friendly football game, Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders both visited the opposite country, opening embassies to mark a new era of diplomacy.

The Ethiopian Airlines also began flying to Asmara from last week.

The resumption of ties between the two nations has been hailed by the United Nations, as well as regional and world leaders.

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Written by How Africa

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