“Women Soccer in Ethiopia Deserves More Attention”, Meskerem Tadesse

Ethiopian National Women Football Team "Dinkinesh (Lucy)"

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Women soccer in Ethiopia is not given the attention it deserves by journalists and everyone involved, explains Meskerem Tadesse, Technique and Development Expert at the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF).

Meskerem noted that Ethiopian sports journalists are more focused on the men’s soccer, and they fail to provide adequate coverage to the women side.

Abraham Teklehaimanot, coach of the national team, says on his part that the problem in women’s soccer is not only Ethiopian but also continental.  He talks of last week’s FIFA conference in South Africa where participants emphasized that women’s soccer is under immense pressure in the whole of Africa. That there is a need to break out of that deadlock is something the participants agreed on.

Younger girls to be groomed

In an unprecedented move, the sport commission in collaboration with EFF, will start a training scheme that will benefit female footballers at the U-13, U 15 and U-17 levels, where 2,500 females are to get trainings countrywide. The federation is also working on a coaching development scheme especially targeting would be women coaches as well, Meskerem stated.

Women key to professionalism

FIFA’s rule stipulates that a club needs, among other things, to have women’s football team under its belt in order to be considered professional. EFF currently does not have a mechanism to force Ethiopian clubs have one. However, this may soon change by the next Ethiopian year.

According to Meskerem, the Federation is currently working to introduce a new regulation that will require each premier league club to form a women’s side.

Only a handful of Ethiopian clubs possess women players. Football clubs currently owning women footballers are Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Dedebit, Defence and Dire Dawa City. It is also learned that EEPCO is on the way of having one.

The national team nicknamed ‘Lucy’, currently standing 105th in FIFA ranking, will be locking horns in the play-offs for Africa cup with its Egyptian Counterpart in January.

 

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