Ethiopian Business Review

January 21st 1962 was the greatest day in Ethiopian football history. Ethiopia was able to win its first and last African Cup of Nations (AFCON), after beating United Arab Republic (Egypt) 4-2 in additional time, in one of the most entertaining games ever played in African football history. Ethiopian football legends like Mengistu Worku and Italo Vassalo quenched the trophy thirst of the spectators packed at the then Haile Selassie Stadium.    

Friday, 15 November 2013 06:00
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Michele Platini, president of UEFA, European football’s governing body, had been invited to dinner at the Elysee Palace by the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, several days before FIFA’s executive committee vote for Qatar, to host the 2022 world cup, in November 2010. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the then emir of Qatar, was also at the dinner, reads a French publication. Platini admitted to France Football that he had accepted Sarkozy’s invitation and had also voted for Qatar, but denied any agreements with the emir. This is how far the growing influence of the oil rich Middle Eastern country has reached. And it is using it aggressively to get what it wants including hosting the biggest sport event in the world, the FIFA world cup.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 20:36
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In the early sixties, some European football clubs showed particular interest in signing the late, legendary Ethiopian footballer Mengistu Worku.  This came about after watching his performance and reading very positive reviews in North African newspapers.  The Italian team Napoli F.C. in particular went as far as contacting the player to try to commence contractual negotiations.  In line with the custom of the times, especially for children of patriots, to seek the Emperor’s permission in going abroad, Mengistu sought such permission to proceed with the process of negotiating a contract and ultimately, relocating to Napoli.   With memories of fascist aggression still fresh however, the idea of an Ethiopian player being ‘sold’, especially to an Italian team, was too hard for the Emperor to swallow.  The ‘football doctor’ was subsequently commanded by His Majesty to play in Ethiopia, and with that, the opportunity for the first Ethiopian football star to play for a major European football club was squandered.  The country had to wait for over forty years before a series of international transfers of its football stars was effected.

Saturday, 21 September 2013 15:00
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