Posted: Wednesday December 5, 2012 2:44 PM

Eritrea out of African Championships qualifying

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -Ethiopia's football federation says it has been informed that opponent Eritrea has withdrawn from the African Nations Championship qualifying competition.

Federation spokesman Melaku Ayele says his body received a letter from the Confederation of African Football on Wednesday saying that Eritrea had conceded its preliminary qualifier.

Ethiopia will progress to the first round of qualifying for the 2014 African Nations Championship in South Africa, a continentwide competition for home-based players. Ethiopia faces Rwanda next.

Ethiopia and Eritrea have been engaged in a longtime border dispute, prompting the Ethiopians to refuse to travel to Eritrea for the first leg of their series.

It was also unclear if Eritrea could have fielded a team after 17 players went missing from their team hotel on Tuesday at a regional tournament in Uganda.

 
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