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FIFA intervention postpones EFF presidential election

FIFA intervention postpones EFF presidential election

The general assembly of Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF), which was scheduled to elect a new president that will serve the federation for the coming four years, is postponed due to the intervention of international football governing body— FIFA. 

According to FIFA’s procedures, football federations that plan to conduct a general assembly and presidential election to establish a new administration are expected to notify the international football governing body 30 days before the actual election takes place. However, EFF failed to do so and hence FIFA intervenes and the general assembly and presidential election which was scheduled to take place on November 9 and 10, 2017 is now postponed to August 6, 2018.

Earlier this week, the federation, which was under the under impression that the general assembly meeting is going to take place, announced the shifting of the venue from the Afar Regional State to Addis Ababa, and four regional states had disclosed their endorsed candidates to run for the presidency.

Former president of the federation and currently president of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation, Ashebir Woldegiorgis (MD), is among the disclosed candidates endorsed by the SNNP. Asheber is not a new face to the federation and to the members of the sport community; he was also best remembered for his squabble with other members of EFF and leaders of the different teams while he was in office.

Due to the squabble while he was a president, the government was forced to intervene to give solution and it was remembered that the government involvement was rejected by CAF and FIFA that resulted in the imposition of sanctions on EFF and the national team for a short period of time.

Similarly, the former vice president of the federation, Teka Assefaw, who is endorsed by the Amhara Regional State, will also run for presidency.

The incumbent, Juindein Basha is also endorsed by Dire Dawa City administration to run for his second her term. Former St. George and Ethiopian Coffee player, Anteneh Feleke endorsed by the Oromia Regional State is another candidate to run for the presidency.

Many argued that given the current bottlenecks that the federation has faced in terms of the overall structure, the administration and proper scheduling of the games in the Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) and other tournaments; and the task ahead is not going to be a rosy one as well.

Since the problem in the overall structure and the day to day activities of the federation is broader and persisted, fixing such intricate and persistent problems will take time and well articulated strategies. Therefore, it is very difficult to address such problems through election campaigns and promises, commentators argued.

However, Ashiber stated that this is the best opportunity to come up with a new strategy and rework on complications that he attempted and failed in his previous term. 

The football arena of the country is suffering from match fixing; referee issues, lack of consistency in the performance of the national team, the overall structure of the federation and failure in conducting various tournaments according to the planned schedule, therefore these are the main bottlenecks of the federation that needs proper and swift solutions from the incoming administration, commentators argued.

Other candidates have also vowed to come up with new ideas and strategies to address the problems in the federation. Teka, on his part, promised restructuring of the federation in his campaign massage channeled through different media outlets. Accordingly, he revealed his plans that if he will be sworn in as a president of the federation he will work mainly to structure the federation, starting from the grassroots level, introduce new marketing systems, increase the number of professional match officials. He also vowed to establish a cordial relationship with EPL and regional clubs and other stakeholders.

Teka also indicated that he will critically work on sport hooliganism, another challenge exhibited in the country in recently. And accordingly, he plans to work hand in hand with clubs and spectators to provide lasting solution for the problem.

Similarly, regions also endorsed their representatives to run for the executive committee member of the federation. In this regard, the Amhara region endorsed the former coach of the national team Sewent Bishaw.

Alimirah Mohammed, who is the member of the current executive committee of the federation representing Afar Region, will represent the region for another four years term if elected.

According to the information obtained from the federation all regional states and city administrations has submitted the endorsed candidates for the executive committee.

Currently, in any part of the world, football management is very important in the promotion and the development of the game. Administration can be defined as functions and responsibilities, which are essential for the achievements of the designed goals through associated effort. There are a lot of workouts waiting for Ethiopian football development and the new elect administration is burdened in addressing and solving the bottlenecks of the federation in the coming four years.