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Ethiopia second CECAFA team to qualify for AFCON despite premature ending to match

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Ethiopia have become the second CECAFA country after Sudan to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) despite their match with Ivory Coast on Tuesday evening witnessing a long stoppage after the referee passed out.

Kenyan assistant referee Gilbert Cheruiyot whistled the match out after consultations, with the referee wheeled out to hospital after appearing to collapse in the final 10 minutes of the match.

The initial match referee was out of the game after testing positive for COVID-19 and the Ghanaian referee who was to be the fourth official was drafted into the centre.

An Ivorian referee was called in to be the fourth official and couldn’t go in as the centre referee when his colleague was indisposed.

The match however resumed for the final 10 minutes after close to an hour with Cheruiyot stepping in as the centre referee.

Ethiopia finished the group second ahead of Madagascar who were held to a 0-0 draw with Niger.

Ivory Coast had scored its goals through Willy Boly, Jean Kouassi and Franck Kessie while Ethiopia’s only goal was scored by Getaneh Kebede.

Meanwhile, Burundi have missed out on a return to the Cup of Nations even before playing their final match against Morocco after Mauritania beat the Central Africa Republic by a solitary goal to finish second in the group.

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