NAIROBI, Kenya, June 26- If only this would happen in Kenya! The entire Ethiopian FA is to step down after the 2014 World Cup qualifiers end in September after the officials agreed to fall on their sword following the fiasco involving playing an ineligible player.
Sahilu Gebremariam, Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) president and his entire executive will not offer their candidature during the forthcoming elections with the country expected to be docked points for fielding Minyahile Beyene against Botswana on June 8 after he picked two yellow cards.
This is despite the fact that Ethiopia are one win away against minnows Central African Republic to seal their passage to the final knock-out phase in the race to Brazil.
Their clumsy colleagues at Football Kenya Federation (FKF) led by Sam Nyamweya are still sitting pretty in office despite making no headway since 2011 when they were swept to office with a promise to revitalise the country’s game.
In that period, Ethiopia qualified for the 2013 Nations Cup and the Wayla Antelopes are only three games away from making history as the first East African nation to qualify for the Mundial.
During the stormy EFF meeting in Monday where members of the federation and journalists, yes, journalists! Pressed for the entire executive to stand down, Ashenafi Ejigu, the Secretary General was sacked.
Here, some members of the press sadly, are the lead cheerleaders for Nyamweya and his lumbering team that thrives on a raft of empty promises and one would not envisage a situation where the FKF boss would face such open dissent from the country’s press hounds.
EFF who admitted fielding an ineligible player rejected the resignation offer by vice president Berhanu Kebede, who had previously been blamed by the body for the mix-up.
“This was a massive blunder so we all should have resigned,” Sahilu told Reuters. “But we have responsibilities ahead so we voted to stay until September.”
Ethiopia’s 2-1 win over South Africa in Addis Ababa on June 16 had given them an unassailable five-point lead in their group and place in the final phase of African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But hours later, world governing body Fifa said it was investigating allegations Ethiopia had played a suspended midfielder.
If the points are redistributed, Ethiopia will have 10, South Africa will be on eight and Botswana on seven with each team having one match left to play in the group.
Ethiopia play the Central African Republic on September 6, while South Africa lock horns with Botswana. Victory for the Antelopes will grant them a slot in the play off even if they are docked points from the win over Botswana.
While they look forward to realising their World Cup dream, here we can only look forward to cheering them at the greatest stage of football since we still have our blundering officials with us!