The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) have named Wubetu Abate as the new national team coach, ahead of Niger double header in Total African Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 qualifiers next November.
EFF opted not to renew the contract of former coach Abraham Mebratu last August amid the COVID 19 pandemic.
Abate signed a two-years contract on Saturday (26 September) at the EFF headquarters in Addis Ababa. At his unveiling, EFF president Esayas Jira noted the Federation was very meticulous in the hiring process. "Following the government's approval on football activities resumption, we took only few days to name a new coach. The technical committee proposed a list of coaches and our choice fell on Wubetu Abate."
The newly appointed coach mission will be to qualify with Ethiopia to the 2021 African Cup of Nations and the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers final playoffs.
Abate said he is aware of the risk that comes with the job. "I like challenges and enjoy them. I face many challenges in my coaching career. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. It was a dream for me to manage Ethiopia national team. Surprisingly, the dream has come true, and I hope to achieve good results during my spell".
Abate, a former player, managed numerous domestic sides, including Adama City, Ethiopian Coffee, Dedebit, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Hawassa City, Fasil Kenema, and Sebeta Town FC. He also enjoyed a brief stint at Sudanese outfit Al Ahli Shendi. He led Ethiopian Coffee to their first ever major trophy in a decade back in 2011, leapfrogging archrivals Saint George to win the league title. He also won the 2019 Ethiopian Cup with Fasil Kenema.
Ethiopia are second in their AFCON qualifiers Group K with 3 points. An away 1-0 defeat to group leaders Madagascar was followed by a surprise 2-1 win over Cote d'Ivoire in November 2019. Abate's new journey will begin away against group trailers Niger at Niamey.