Dire Dawa & Hosanna City join Ethiopia Premier League

Dire Dawa, Ethiopia – After beating their rivals at the Dire Dawa Stadium on Sunday,  Dire Dawa City and Hosanna City completed their bid to join the Ethiopia Premier League side for the next season.

Dire Dawa Kenema "City" Football Club
Dire Dawa Kenema “City” Football Club

Dire Dawa City joined the elite league beating Jimma Ababuna 2-0 in a very comfortable way. In the quarter final Dire Dawa City knocked out Addis Ababa City in penalty shoot outs. The former famous football city Dire Dawa got representative in the elite league after waiting for so long.

The Dire Dawa City Administration recently announced that it will build a new stadium in the coming two years. For now the already serving stadium was refurbished to serve as venue for the coming league competition. This same stadium was the venue of the 10th Africa Cup of Nations that was staged in Ethiopia in 1976. The other two venues were the Addis Ababa and Asmara stadiums. The opening and closing matches took place in Addis Ababa.

Hosanna City joined the elite league beating Alaba City with a wide three to nothing margin. This will be the fifth side from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State. So far the SNNPS is represented by Hawassa City, Arba Minch City, Sidama Coffee and Wolayita Dicha.

With four teams in the 14-team league, it is the SNNPS that has the highest number of representation next to Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa this time has six sides: St. George, Coffee, Dedebit, Mekelakeya, Electric and Banks. Still the SNNPS remains close to the Addis side in terms of representation with five teams. This is a remarkable achievement for the SNNPS.

To the surprise of many it is also the south that stands second in terms of taking titles in the premier league 17 years history. So far the SNNPS side Hawassa City lifted the trophy two times. No other state team lifted the trophy to this day.

The Addis sides have the lions share by taking 15 titles from the total of 17. St. George took a record 11 times while Electric collected two times. Coffee and Dedebit took once each. In this Ethiopian season Sidama Coffee had a better chance to make the SNNPS’ tally to three but it was not to be so.

Dire Dawa City and Hosanna City will join the elite league in place of the relegated Muger Cement and Woldiya City sides. According to the regulation of the country’s football governing body, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF), the number of the Ethiopian Premier League clubs is 14. Two bottom sides relegate to the lower division at the ends of the season’s competition while two clubs will be promoted to join the elite league at the start of the season. In line to this regulation Dire Dawa and Hosaina cities will join the league at the start of the next season.

Though officially unconfirmed, some informed sources say that the number of the premier clubs will increase to 16 by next year. If what they say is confirmed the two relegated sides will be allowed to maintain their position in the elite league. Number matters. When two clubs are added the financial burden will be high on the competing clubs. Considering this the people say that 14 teams are enough for the elite league.

Source: Ethiopian Herald

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