Before beating Niger 1-0, the coach dropped five of his players from his 31-man provisional team that pitched camp for a training camp in Addis Ababa.
There are now 26 players in the team who will have to be further trimmed to the final 23 which according to the Ethiopia Football Federation will be done after friendlies against Guinea and Tunisia.
The team’s other friendly against Togo has fallen through. Those so far dropped from the team are four local-based players and another based in Germany.
They include; Fitsum Mariam (St. George), Fitsum Teferi (Commercial Bank), Mulualem Mesfin (Arba Minch City), Medhane Tadesse (Defence Force), David Beshah (TSC Euskirchen, Germany).
Ethiopia were also due to play Tanzania and Morocco and believe the two opponents are not strong enough to help them prepare for the competition.
The Ethiopian’s last trip to the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1982. African champions Zambia play Ethiopia on January 21 while Burkina Faso and Nigeria are the other teams in Group C of the competition. Group C is based in Nelspruit.