A World Cup qualifying match between Ethiopia and Sierra Leone was disrupted by heavy fog on November 15, 2023. / Photo: Ethiopia Football Federation 

By Charles Mgbolu

On Wednesday evening (November 15) in the dressing rooms of the El Abdi Stadium in Morocco, players from Ethiopia and Sierra Leone prepared for a crucial FIFA 2026 World Cup qualification game, never knowing the weather had other ideas.

Five minutes into the game, tiny wisps of mist started to appear, but the game went on undeterred, with both teams jostling to find the opening goal.

Poor weather conditions hampered visibility. / Photo: Ethiopia Football Federation 

However, as the game hit the half-hour mark, it became obvious there would be issues.

A thick fog had descended and enveloped the stadium, with the Ethiopian Football Federation posting pictures on social media of players playing with very low visibility.

Half-time break was extended to about an hour due to the fog.  / Photo Ethiopia Football Federation 

The half-time break was called, and as players made their way back to their dressing rooms, FIFA and match officials could be seen on the pitch trying to make crucial decisions on how to continue the game.

Fans watching the game back at home, however, got worried when the 15-minute halftime break expired and players had not emerged back on the pitch.

Fans at home were worried the game would be cancelled.  / Photo Ethiopia Football Federation 

A collective sigh of relief, however, rippled through social media when the game resumed after one hour.

‘’Great news! The match has officially resumed... Visibility is far from perfect!’’ announced an excited fan, @negussu, on X.

Players did not blame the outcome of the game on the weather.  / Photo Ethiopia Football Federation 

Referees went on to stop the game twice in the second half before the match ended after 15 minutes of regulation time.

Exhausted players on both sides spoke after the game which ended in a 0-0 draw but did not directly blame the outcome on the weather .

Sierra Leone will next play Egypt on November 19 and Ethiopia plays Burkina Faso on November 21.

Read also: African World Cup qualifiers get underway with new format

TRT Afrika