- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - National coach Sewnet Bishaw was fired by the Ethiopia Football Federation on Wednesday despite leading the team to the African Cup for the first time in over 30 years and to the brink of a maiden World Cup appearance.

Sewnet lost his job because of Ethiopia’s poor performance in the recent African Nations Championship in South Africa, the lower-level tournament for home-based players, the federation said. Ethiopia was eliminated in the group stage after losses to eventual champion Libya, Republic of Congo and Ghana. Ethiopia failed to score at the tournament.

“The federation has conducted a review of the team’s current and previous performances, especially after the CHAN (African Nations Championship) games in South Africa,” EFF President Junedi Basha said. “Accordingly we have decided to remove coach Sewnet Bishaw from his post as of today. We didn’t sack him for the sake of just hiring another coach so we will take time and consider who will be the next coach.”

Now 62, Sewnet was appointed for a second spell in charge of the east Africans in 2011 and led them to the 2013 African Cup for their first appearance since 1982. Ethiopia also reached Africa’s final World Cup playoffs ahead of former host South Africa before losing over two legs to continental champion Nigeria and only just missing out on a surprise World Cup debut in Brazil.