At a general assembly held Friday, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) decided to postpone the election of a head to lead the body for a four-year term. The assembly decided that the election be held in Afar in a month and a half.
A chasm started to develop among delegates following FIFA intervention over the presidential election, with proceedings interrupted as delegates resorted to throwing plastic bottles at each other, sources told The Reporter, adding that it was a non-issue as it had nothing to do with promoting Ethiopian football, but was rather the result of group infighting among delegates.
FIFA rules dictate that it be notified 30 days ahead of general assemblies and presidential elections by member federations.
The main disagreement during the assembly was that some regional delegates were not willing to hold the presidential election. Amhara, Oromia, Harari and Benishangul Gumuz were calling for postponement and Tigray and the Southern Regional State held the reverse position. However, with 68 votes in favor (and 62 against), the general assembly postponed the election for 45 days.
Many experts The Reporter approached noted that failure to follow FIFA’s edict might mean that Ethiopia would be banned from participation at international tournaments.
Many argued that the federation’s current executive committee is not fit for purpose, and sought its replacement.
“The current executive committee already ended its mandate. So, we need other temporary executive committee members till a new leadership takes over,” Ethiopia Coffee Football Club board chairman Fekade Mamo explained.
According to sources, the general assembly was unusually under pressure and was divide in two. Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) 14-time title-holders St. George and Dedebit supported the motion for moving the venue of the next assembly to Afar.
Debating on other agenda items at the assembly, club representatives raised different questions regarding discipline and irregularity of transfer. A delegate representing Dedebit FC blamed the federation for lax enforcement of taxation rules during transfers.
Meanwhile, discipline of clubs, fans, players and unfair punishment of players were other issues raised at the assembly.
Apart from incumbent Junedin Basha, ex-EFF President Ashebir Woldegiorgis (DDM), Teka Assefaw, and former St. George and Ethiopia Coffee player Anteneh Feleke have so far thrown their hats to run for EFF president.
Many commentators hold the view that the football arena is marred by allegations of match fixing, refereeing issues, lack of consistency in performance by the national team and scheduling of EPL fixtures.