Briefs

Ethiopia fire coach

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

AD­DIS ABABA — Ethiopia coach Yo­hannes Sahile has had his con­tract ter­mi­nated af­ter the team’s poor run of form.

The Ethiopian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Juneydi Basha told BBC Sport that “the main rea­son for the de­ci­sion was poor re­sults at CHAN as well as in World Cup and African Cup of na­tions qual­i­fy­ing.”

Ethiopia failed to get past the group stage of the Africa Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (CHAN) in Rwanda ear­lier this year pick­ing up just one point from three games.

Last year they were knocked out of 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing by Congo los­ing 6-4 on ag­gre­gate. More re­cently re­sults against Al­ge­ria have left them with lit­tle chance of qual­i­fy­ing for the 2017 Na­tions Cup in Gabon. Firstly they lost 7-1 away in Al­ge­ria in March and then drew 3-3 at home with the same op­po­nents in two con­sec­u­tive qual­i­fiers. Ethiopia had led on three oc­ca­sions in the second match but were un­able to se­cure vic­tory. The poor per­for­mance of the Walyas has left them trail­ing by five points be­hind Al­ge­ria’s Desert Foxes in Group J with two matches to play.

In a state­ment re­leased on Mon­day, the Ethiopian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion cited “un­met tar­gets” for Sahile’s dis­missal along with mem­bers of the fed­er­a­tion’s tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee. The body said it has picked Sahile’s suc­ces­sor but would dis­close his iden­tity only in the “next few days” once terms had been agreed.

Sahile, an Amer­i­can of Ethiopian de­scent, is the third man­ager to be given his march­ing or­ders since Ethiopia came within two matches of a first-ever World Cup ap­pear­ance in Brazil two years ago.

But Ethiopia’s for­tunes have since waned and the Walyas failed to qual­ify for last year’s Na­tions Cup af­ter fin­ish­ing bot­tom of the group with just one win. They next face Le­sotho and Sey­chelles in June and Septem­ber, with ta­ble-top­pers Al­ge­ria need­ing a soli­tary point to en­sure their progress to next year’s fi­nals in Gabon. — BBC IS­LAM­ABAD — Pak­istan’s new se­lec­tors Mon­day dropped star play­ers Shahid Afridi, Ahmed She­hzad and Umar Ak­mal from next month’s tour of Eng­land, stress­ing there would be no com­pro­mises af­ter the coun­try’s dis­as­trous exit from the World Twenty20 in In­dia.

Former Afghanistan coach In­za­mam-ulHaq, who is head­ing up the newly formed se­lec­tion com­mit­tee as part of whole­sale changes fol­low­ing last month’s tour­na­ment hu­mil­i­a­tion, an­nounced 35 play­ers would at­tend boot camp start­ing in Kakul from May 14 to June 4.

He said Afridi — who an­nounced he would con­tinue play­ing the Twenty20 for­mat af­ter re­sign­ing as cap­tain in the wake of the event - needed to per­form in do­mes­tic matches.

“Since we are play­ing only four Twenty20 matches this year we want to give new play­ers a chance, and that will also al­low Afridi to rest and per­form in do­mes­tic matches,” In­za­mam said at a news con­fer­ence in La­hore.

As for She­hzad and Umar, he said, “the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee will not com­pro­mise on

dis­ci­pline”.

She­hzad was de­clared best bats­man of the Pak­istan Cup one-day tour­na­ment which ended on Sun­day, scor­ing 372 runs, but along with Umar has been in­volved in var­i­ous dis­ci­plinary breaches. Former Pak­istan head coach Waqar You­nis — who re­signed in early April — had also rec­om­mended drop­ping She­hzad and Umar. Spot-fix­ing con­vict Sal­man Butt was also not se­lected.

“Butt has not played four-day cricket since his ban was lifted so we need to as­sess him in longer for­mats be­fore se­lect­ing him,” said In­za­mam.

Butt is also likely to face is­sues with ob­tain­ing a visa to Eng­land — though an­other spot-fix­ing con­vict, Mo­ham­mad Amir, was in­cluded in the squad as he is ex­pected to get the visa af­ter plead­ing guilty in a UK court. Butt, Amir and Mo­ham­mad Asif were caught in a spot-fix­ing case on Pak­istan’s last tour of Eng­land in 2010, tak­ing money for no-balls dur­ing the Lord’s Test.

Their five-year ban ended in Septem­ber last year. Pak­istan will play four Tests, five one-day in­ter­na­tion­als and a Twenty20 in­ter­na­tional on a two-month long tour of Eng­land. — Reuters

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