Newly elected Ethiopian Football Federation president speaks

After a tumultuous nine months, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has finally elected Esayas Jirra as its president on June 3, 2018 in an election that was held in Semera town, Afar Regional State. Initially, the new president secured 66 votes in the first round of the election process but this was not enough in securing the position since a ‘50 plus vote rule’ forced another round of elections. Nevertheless, Esayas, in the second round, was able to secure 87 votes allowing him to sit at the helm for four years.

Esayas was born in Western Wellega, Oromia Regional State where he acquired his Diploma in Biology and later received his BA degree from Haromaya University. In 2002, he served in the Ministry of Youth and Sports at Wereda level in which due to his outstanding performance, he was promoted to Jimma town for the same cause. In 2009, he served in the Ministry of Youth and Sport as sport promotion head. He was also president of Jimma City Football Club and deputy president of Sebeta Sport Club. He has served as a president of Jimma FC when the club was promoted from the National League to the Premier league. Dawit Tolesaof The Reporter sat down with the newly elected Ethiopian Football Federation president to discuss the election and prospects of Ethiopian football. Excerpts:

The Reporter: After long delays and bitter conflicts, you have become the new Ethiopian Football Federation president. Tell us about the process of your candidacy to the position?

Esayas Jirra: I was initially approached by the Oromia Football Federation to take part in the election. I was not that much interested at first. My desire was to transform Jimma Aba Jiffar Football Club and I was occupied with my private work. After a relentless pressure from the Oromia Football Federation and weeks of negotiation, I decided to consider the offer.

Read more at: The Reporter