Sunday, July 29, 2012

29 July 2008 - FIFA Brings Out The Big Stick Against Ethiopia

On 29 July 2008, FIFA suspended Ethiopia from international competition, ending their World Cup qualification campaign after only four matches.

The decision was a political one, stemming from the Ethiopian Football Federation's removal of their president, Ashebir Woldegiorgis the previous January. Although the EFF cited the national team's poor performance as the basis for their decision, FIFA refused the recognize the decision and ordered the federation to work with Dr. Woldegiorgis to "normalise the situation of the EFF and to bring back unity within the Ethiopian football community." They also established a "roadmap" of events intended to guide the process.

But by July 2008, the EFF had failed to meet the requirements set by FIFA, so the governing body issued its suspension, effective immediately. Ethiopia, who were four matches into the qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup, were forced to withdraw. They also missed the 2008 CECAFA Cup for countries from East and Central Africa.

The suspension lasted for one year, with FIFA lifting it in 2009.

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