- GROUP A Egypt Burkina Faso Guinea-Bissau Sierra Leone Ethiopia Djibouti
Coach Amidu Karim remains positive as Sierra Leone prepares to launch their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign against Ethiopia on Wednesday.
Karim, who took charge a month ago, will start his Leone Stars reign in the World Cup qualifier against the Walias Ibex at the El Abdi Stadium, Al Jadida.
Group A opener on Wednesday will be the third between both nations as coach Karim boosted his side with three new additions.
Charlton Athletic FC striker Daniel Kanu is on loan to fifth-tier side Southern United, Derby County midfielder Tyrese Fornah and Liga Leumit side Hapoel Kfar Saba defender Abdulai Jajue Kabia are the three new faces in line to make their International debut.
After a successful Fifa-friendly window in October, where Sierra Leone drew with Benin (1-1) and defeated Somalia 2-0, they face a tricky test against the Walia Ibex of Ethiopia.
“The team have been training well – preparations has been on a positive footing. We had a good training camp in Morocco during the Fifa window, where we won against Somalia and drew with Benin. So, I think we we are ok in a good place,” Coach Karim told Football Sierra Leone.
“We’re aware that Ethiopia are a good side – we have studied their weakness and strength. They are not a pushover but a strong side. However, we have put modalities in place to get a positive result.”
“All selected players are now in Morocco responding to training – players are well geared up, focus ahead of the Wednesday. Playing Ethiopia, we want to be in a positive frame of mind. The lads are ready to give their 100 percent.”
Ethiopia hosts Sierra Leone on Nov 15 in El Abdi Stadium – four days later, Leone Stars host the Pharaohs of Egypt in the Liberian Capital, Monrovia, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium.
Starting the campaign well will be the utmost task for Coach Karim and his technical team. However, Sierra Leone has yet to defeat the Walias of Ethiopia in their last two meetings.
In the 2018 AFCON qualifiers, Sierra Leone suffered a 1-0 defeat at the Hawassa International Stadium, but the result was null and void following the country’s disqualification.
Sierra Leone went into the qualifying period but was disqualified due to a suspension by CAF.
In the last World Cup qualifier against Liberia, the Lone Star won the first leg in Liberia 3-1 before losing the return match in Freetown through Kei Kamara’s goal. Both matches were played on the 4th and 8th of September 2019, respectively.
The Fifa 23rd edition of the World Cup will be played across Canada, Mexico, and the USA, including at Olympic venues.
@derbycounty midfielder @TyreseFornah in Sierra Leone training in Morocco.— Alie Bittar (@bittar32) November 14, 2023
Coach Amidu Karim has named Fornah for the first time to face Ethiopia and Egypt in the opening qualifiers in the race to the 2026 World Cup.#FSLNews #FSLMedia @football_sierra pic.twitter.com/ijfDEZn7AW