Ethiopia: Football-Sewnet Must Go

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Ethiopia: Football-Sewnet Must Go

Unread post by zeru » 27 Jan 2014 19:40

Three years have hardly elapsed since the Ethiopian National Football Team - the Walyas - strode forward from back page sideline commentaries to front page news stories after coming out of their 30-year hibernation. Their victory over their Sudanese counterparts in Addis Abeba was one of the many factors that triggered it. But there was football in Ethiopia long before that.
Qualifying for an African continental football tournament should not be a novelty for a country like Ethiopia. It was one of four countries to lay the founding stone of the Confederation for African Football (CAF), while most African nations were still preoccupied with the question of freeing themselves from the yokes of colonialism.
There was football in Ethiopia more than seven decades ago, when strikers, like Mengistu Worku and midfielders, such as Yidenkachew Tessema, were not only dominating the local media, but also very popular names in other African countries. Transient as we all are, generations have passed leaving only their nostalgic memories behind.
The winning of matches and the proud attention had all vanished into the thin air, absent from the international scenes for over 31 years. Indeed, the media had overused this sad sentiment, until the Walya's victory over the Sudanese team.

In 2010, Ethiopia qualified for the CAF Championship held in South Africa. Notwithstanding the final result, the Walyas had become known as a power to be reckoned with.
The quality of football they displayed was in itself a new dynamic that boosted the morale and expectation of every football fan at home and abroad. This included members of the ruling party, who not only pledged to encourage the growth of football infrastructure in the country, but also to donate prizes and money to both players and coaches.
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