And late last night, Saint George midfielder Mentesnot Adane and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia midfielder Ephraim Ashamo were also told their was no room for them on board the flight as the Ethiopian national team headed off with a squad list of only twenty players.
Sidama Coffee's teenaged sensation Abdulkerim Mohammed is the only uncapped player heading to Algeria, as all the rest have either featured at some point during the qualifiers, or earned their first cap last weekend against Uganda. The only exception is Saint George midfielder Fasika Asfaw, who is recalled to the national team for the first time since the 2014 CHAN tournament.
Ethiopia need to pull off a miraculous win and hope that Malawi can at least hold Mali to a draw at home. It still might not even be enough. Anything less than a win for the Walyas and the dream is over. Saturday could be the end of the road, or the brink of glory for the Ethiopians. Here are the twenty players who will be a part of Ethiopia's biggest throw of the dice in Blida this Saturday:
Jemal Tassew (Defence Force FC), Tarik Getnet (Dedebit FC).
Biyadgilign Elias (Saint George), Walid Atta (BK Hacken), Salahdin Bargecho (Saint George), Abdulkerim Mohammed (Sidama Coffee), Girma Bekele (Awassa Kenema), Birhanu Bogale (Dedebit FC), Abebaw Butako (Saint George).
Shemelis Bekele (Petrojet FC), Andargachew Yilak (Saint George), Natnael Zeleke (Saint George), Fasika Asfaw (Saint George), Yussuf Saleh (IK Sirius), Tadele Mengesha (Dedebit FC), Gatoch Panomo (Ethiopian Coffee FC).
Ramkel Lok (EEPCO), Dawa Hotessa (Saint George), Omod Okori (Saint George) , Dawit Fekadu (Dedebit FC).
The referee for the game has been confirmed to be Mauritania's Ali Lemghaifry.