Calm down Ethiopia
A few days ago, in my blog, I heaped praise on Ethiopia's new role in African football but today I am saddened by what is actually transpiring in the beautiful country.
There has been anger, emotion, finger-pointing and ridicule in Ethiopia. All this follows the debacle that saw the Walia field an ineligible player in Minyahil Behene against Botswana that could possibly mean docking of three points by Fifa as per the rules.
The EFF secretary general, Asehnafi Ejegu, has also been fired after the impasse and the football president, Sahlu Gebrewold Gebremariam, has categorically said that he and his executive committee will not vie for elective posts in September.
I am a worried man as I see a great ship, called Walia Antelopes, sinking slowly because no one has listened to the other party. The truth of the matter is that the milk has already spilled and no amount of finger pointing, abuse or accusations can change things. What is needed is sobriety in these trying times.
It is sad to see how the country has been engulfed in an emotional state that is likely to stall all the great things that have been done since Ethiopia was re-admitted back to football after the Fifa suspension of 2008. This could have disastrous consequences and I urge all stakeholders, including the players, technical bench, EFF and supporters, to please sober up and see the great future ahead.
I understand the pain of Ethiopians who suddenly saw their World Cup dream come true when they beat South Africa 2-1. There were wild celebrations across Ethiopia and suddenly everything came tumbling down when news of the ineligible player filtered in. However, I see the situation differently and urge for calm and understanding. Ethiopia is a great nation and I still believe, even if the team is docked the three points, they are in a better position to qualify for the playoffs.
Nothing is impossible, as long as the football unity witnessed in the last few years can be sustained at this critical time. The sign of a good team is to be strong an calm during adversity and turmoil. That is what Ethiopians should be doing now instead of accusations and counter accusations. It’s never too late to make amends.
Walia Antelopes, please don't lose focus at this critical moment. Nothing is cast in stone and, as long as everyone calms down, the Walia Antelopes will definitely go places. This is a fact everyone in Africa knows.