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Football governing body evaluates progress

Following the end of round-one matches of the EthiopianPremier League (EPL), the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF)has met and discussed with EPL club representatives on several issues that were selected by the governing body.

Held on Wednesday,March 6, 2019,the discussion forum listened to EFF’soverall evaluation of games which were played in Addis Ababa and in regionalstadiums. In the report, positive changes were witnessed comparedto the last EPL season.  According to reports, the security issues, match fixing, referee decisions and sport hooliganism cases are diminishing.

At the beginning of the EPL season, games between the two regional clubs,Amhara and Tigray, was impossible due to a political unrestin the regions. However, after both region administrators came to a solution, matches were played in both regions stadium regularly. The report includes the issue of referees which was the main reason for football hooliganism across the country. This also shows a promising result in fading unlike the last season.

The Ethiopian League Committee also unveiled that some457 yellow-cardsand 16 red-cards were shown in the last 15 fixtures. The EFF also has a plan to give an extra training for referees and commissioners in the coming months.

Elsewhere, the evaluation report also shows that over 50 foreign players are playing in different EPL clubs and 75 percent of them are goalkeepers. According to clubs representatives, the number of foreign goalkeepers in the country is making it challenging to getyoung and talented goalkeepers for the national team.

Facing an uphill battle in clubs fielding a lot of foreign players, it is to be recalled that the EFF set a limitation dictating the amount of players to be signed from abroad (which is a max. of 5 players and fielding only three at a time) is expected to minimize the growing foreign players in the league.

Furthermore, the representatives mentioned the issues regarding the ticket selling process, security forces and the U-17 terminated competition to be solved in the second round of competitions.

During the first round tiesMekele have managed to collect 35 points playing 15 matches and Sidama Coffee follows with 30 points in tow. St. George sits third with 26 points while Fasil is fourth on 25 points.