By Samson Demissie Teffera
When I heard the news that the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) fired Walias head coach Yohannes Sahle on Wednesday, I said here we go again.
This is what I posted on Facebook on October 2014 after the EFF fired Coach Mariano Barreto.
“I hear some rumors that EFF might let go our new national team coach. While I disagree with Barreto’s initial approach excluding some of the key senior players, I feel strongly that he needs to be given adequate time to effect a positive change. Again, this is my personal opinion. Firing Barreto is not the answer.
Once again it seems like EFF is barking up the wrong tree. In the first place, they were wrong to let Gash Sewnet Bishaw go. True, he could have used an experienced technical advisor. And he could have worked on changing the culture of the team and building them the tools and a winning spirit and culture. But let him go, not to even let the new coach feel the team out and begin the huge shift required in both fans and players, not to mention the support staff and the underlying dogma of the group is a big mistake.
What happens a few months or years from now when the next coach has a string of failures, fire him/her too? The current state of Ethiopian football is not going to change with quick fixes.
EFF needs to work on creating the basic building blocks for a sustainable and globally competitive program. In a country where there is a serious lack of sport pitches and second and third division clubs, a top notch world class football coach won’t be able to do anything.
The national team should start at the junior level by nurturing kids from the ground up. Again this is my opinion, but I think it’s supported by the changes other teams underwent.”
Samson Demissie Teffera is the son of former Electric FC and Ethiopian national football team player, Demissie Teffera (Elvis). Visit his Facebook page here.