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Ashenafi the only victim
Despite some strong opposition from sides like Ethiopian Coffee, Share Ethiopia and Dedebit FC, EFF president Sahlu G/Wold and Co. literally swam out of the muddy waters of the latest blunder, while the guy famed for his survival instinct, Ashenafi Ejegu, was kicked out of office for the fiasco that caused the Ethiopian National team a big setback in its World Cup qualification campaign.
What is surprising about the executive committee is that they listed down their achievements in the last four years in order to imply that they deserved to stay in office. Their achievements included helping Ethiopia back to the Africa Cup of Nations final after a more than three decades absence, steering Ethiopia from a FIFA World Ranking of 145 to the current 105th place and making the federation an 80 million birr institution.
According to VP Teka Asfaw, considering all the big achievements made by the executive body, the public’s call for their resignation was something hard to understand. “I don’t think the mistake is so serious that we deserve a kick in the behind,” Teka remarked.
The Football Federation President, Sahlu G/Wold, who had been highly criticized for travelling abroad while Ethiopia was playing an important home match against Nigeria told the assembly that the Federation took the blame as an institution, but simply side-stepped from pointing his finger at anyone in particular, or acknowledging that he himself was at fault, for the big blunder that might cost Ethiopia a World Cup final place for the first time in its history. “To whom is this Federation accountable?” asked Colonel Awol of Dedebit FC.
“It is the President and the President should take the responsibility for what happened,” Colonel Awol added. So many issues, including a Federation led by someone who preferred to be a match official somewhere else rather than be in Addis for an important match (Sahlu), a Vice President who does not know the difference between CAN & Chan and who still believes the blunder has been exaggerated out of proportion and that he should not be summarily dismissed (Teka), went scot free because of a lame General Assembly who extended their term of office until the final group qualification match against the Central African Republic in September.
No one even mentioned the Coach Sewnet Bishaw and Article 20 in his job description, which states that the Coach is responsible for following up on the bookings of his players. One participant asked the Federation derisively whether they had by some chance missed or forgotten any invitation extended to them from CAF or FIFA and they laughably answered “No.” Berhanu also went free after the assembly declined to accept his resignation.