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Ethiopia won't play in Eritrea

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Ethiopia's soccer federation will not allow its team to travel to neighboring Eritrea for a qualifying game in the African Nations Championship because of simmering hostilities between the countries and the lack of security guarantees.

Federation spokesman Melaku Ayele says Ethiopia is happy to host the Eritreans for the second leg of their tie in January but wants a neutral venue -- preferably Sudan -- for this month's first leg, scheduled for Eritrea's capital, Asmara.

Melaku told reporters on Wednesday "who can give you the security guarantee in Asmara? Nobody can give you a security guarantee ... even you foreign journalists don't get that. That's the reality."

The African Nations Championship is a continent-wide competition restricted to domestically based players.

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