FIFA tells Ethiopian Football Federation to clean up its act

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(BBC) – The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and the country’s Match Officials and Commissioners Association agreed on Thursday to resume league matches.

However, Iyassu Fente, the referee who was assaulted prompting the suspension, is not convinced things will change.

Fente was attacked by players and coaches after awarding a disputed goal during a league game last month.

“The league is to kick off and we are yet to see the culprits being punished,” he told BBC Sport.

“The officials’ association demanded some measures to be taken and the federation has promised to sort out things – but these are just words.

“I have not seen any measures until now.

“Psychologically I am hurt to the level that could prompt me to quit my job as a referee. I need to contemplate on things before I start handling games.”

The official awarded a goal to military team Defence in a match against Welwalo Adigrat University when the game was tied at 1-1.

Players from Welwalo claimed the ball had not crossed the line but television replays showed it was a legitimate goal.

Fente has also taken legal action against Maru Gebretsadick, a team official with Welwalo, who was sacked after he physically assaulted Fente.

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“I pressed charges against him (Maru) last Thursday. First I want to hear what the court has to say about the incident before I start officiating games!” he added.

Meanwhile, the EFF president Juneidi Basha is happy to see the return of league action.

“As a federation, I am very glad that we ultimately agreed on the resumption of the league,” Basha said.

“Due to the severe attacks on match officials, we halted the league for a short time. We have listened to their demands but we were against them going on strike.”

The EFF has agreed to provide insurance coverage for match officials for the rest of the season.

It has also ordered clubs to pay compensation to the match officials for the unnecessary attacks on referees.

Meanwhile, the EFF’s newly appointed Electoral Committee has set 3 June for the federation’s elections.

The polls for the president and executive committee have postponed several times leading to Fifa to demand that the election process be amended and a new electoral code to be adopted.