Addis Ababa - Ethiopia's football federation says it has been informed that opponents Eritrea have withdrawn from the African Nations Championship qualifying competition.
Federation spokesperson Melaku Ayele says his body received a letter from the Confederation of African Football on Wednesday saying that Eritrea had conceded their preliminary qualifier.
Ethiopia will progress to the first round of qualifying for the 2014 African Nations Championship in South Africa, a continentwide competition for home-based players. Ethiopia face Rwanda next.
Ethiopia and Eritrea have been engaged in a longtime border dispute, prompting the Ethiopians to refuse to travel to Eritrea for the first leg of their series.
It was also unclear if Eritrea could have fielded a team after 17 players went missing from their team hotel on Tuesday at a regional tournament in Uganda.