Esayas Jira elected as president of Ethiopia Football Federation

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BBC – Esayas Jira has been voted in as the new head of Ethiopia’s Football Federation (EFF), following a long and protracted presidential election.

The EFF presidential elections have been beset with problems and have been postponed by Fifa on four occasions.

The 46-year-old Esayas beat three other candidates for the top job, winning 87 of the 145 votes from the General Assembly in Semera.

He was able to run as a candidate after receiving backing from the Oromia region, and secured a big lead over his closest challenger, Teka Assefaw, to seal the victory.

“I am so overjoyed. After a long, overdue and rocky journey we put an end to this nightmare. I am just elated,” Jira told BBC Sport.

In the first poll on Sunday 3 June, Jira beat Assefaw, outgoing president Juneidi Basha, and the outsider Tesfaye Kahesaye – but a FIFA representative deemed the election illegitimate after Jira failed to win a majority vote.

In the re-run later in the day, Jira secured a landslide victory over Assefaw as Kahesaye and Basha resigned their candidatures.

The election took eight months to conclude, after Fifa ordered Ethiopia to make changes to its electoral process in a bid to bring it in line with FIFA statutes.

Jira has worked as a football administrator for the last 20 years, and most recently has been working as general manager at Ethiopian Premier League outfit, Jimma Aba Jifar FC.