Selection of a New Coach: A Process Full of Twists and Delusions

Many football pundits regarded 2013 as a vintage year of Ethiopian football. The national team, the Walias, qualified for the African Cup of Nations (Afcons) after an absence of 31 years; reached the play offs against the Nigerian Super Eagles in the 2014 World Cup qualification; and participated in the CHAN 2014, a competition of African nations with their home-based players, after a superb qualifying campaign. 

The Walias were nominated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the 2013 Glo-CAF National Team of the Year and their hit striker, Salah El Din Ahmed Said, was on the list of the top 25 African Players of the Year. Getaneh Kebede and Adane Girma were also nominated for the Player of the Year Award for the African-based players’ category. 

But the national team’s dismal performance at the CHAN 2014 in February brought the sacking of the national team’s coach, Sewnet Bishaw, who has been credited for much of the team’s success. What followed the firing of the coach and the process to replace him has been one of the most intriguing events in Ethiopian football.

In February, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) invited applications for the selection of the national coach. Twenty seven coaches submitted applications for the vacant position. Two Ethiopians —Wubetu Abate and Yohannes Tesema — applied for the top position, as well as three Argentines and two people from each of the following countries: Italy, Serbia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Brazil. The applicant pool also includes coaches from Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Bulgaria and France.

In late March, the EFF announced its list of finalists: Goran Stevanovic (Serbia), Lars Olof Mattson (Sweden), Diego Garzito (Italy), Mariano Bareto (Portugal) and Zoran Filipovic (Serbia). The biggest surprise, however, was who didn’t make the list: Tom Saintfiet, who formerly coached the Walias, and Serbian Petrovic, who had earlier been considered a favorite.

From the shortlist, former Ghanaian national team coach, Mariano Bareto, was said to be selected as the first choice and negotiations were set to be held. But without announcing the process of the negotiations, the Federation added a twist to the process: news regarding its selection of the Serbian Goran Stevanovic over Mariano. 

A few days later, drama and intrigue continued to develop after reports leaked stating that the negotiation with Stevanovic failed because he demanded several things that the Federation can’t afford. He requested USD30,000 per month and demanded to bring  two assistants – one from Belgrade and another from Greece – each of whom would be paid USD10,000 monthly. Furthermore, he requested frequent travel between Ethiopia and Belgrade to see his family.

“We cannot afford what Stevanovic asked for and we find it ridiculous because he demanded to bring onboard two assistants, yet as EFF we feel he will not be able to transfer the knowledge to our Ethiopian coaches whom we intended to appoint as his assistants,” an official told Super Sport on the condition of anonymity. 

The local media have been requesting explanations but the Federation was unresponsive and many started to speculate. The speculations heightened the existing conflicts the EFF has with local media. 

The EFF announced the appointment of Portuguese Mariano Barreto, this time the news come through the BBC. The 57 year-old is the former Ghana National team coach who helped players like Michael Essen, Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari achieve their current level of success. He has also been a coach for different clubs, having served as an assistant manager to Russia’s team, Dynamo Moscow.

The EFF will pay a net salary of USD18,000 per month and will cover other benefits such as vehicle, fuel and housing expenses for the coach.

Mariano’s main task will be to lead the National Team to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. Ethiopia is one of 21 nations who have gone straight into the group stages of the African Nations Cup qualifiers, which will begin in September 2014. In Group B, Ethiopia will play against Mali, Algeria, and the winners of two matches: Sao Tome & Principe Vs Benin and Malawi Vs Chad.

Mariano told the press that his success “depends on the level of his own work.” He added: “I know Ethiopian players have natural talent but most of the national team players are above the age of 26...  so we have to look for ... young boys if we want to qualify for tournaments, so we’ll work to improve and change this situation. In all the countries I have worked I have produced top players, so I hope when I leave Ethiopia I’ll see a top player on TV.” 

For many Ethiopians, however, the amount of money that will be spent on hiring a coach from abroad raises many questions, especially since prior foreign coaches didn’t do much to change the team’s level of success. Many say it was an Ethiopian coach who made it possible to rejoin the AFCON tournament that Ethiopia has missed for decades. They also question the fairness of the amount of money paid to the foreign coach, while it is possible to send potential Ethiopian coaches abroad to study modern coaching techniques of which the country is in need. 

Yet the enigma of why Ethiopian football is not progressing as much as its football-crazed fans wish still persists.  Whether having a foreign coach will be a solution to this issue, among others, will be a matter of time.

2nd Year . June 2014 . No.15


  • Redoexisp

    buy viagra online germany - generic viagra

    cheap viagra online

    here mailorder viagra

    Redoexisp Thursday, 31 August 2017 19:17 Comment Link
  • KevinBon

    cheap viagra no prescription canada
    online viagra
    price of viagra at tesco
    online viagra
    jokes about viagra generic names
    cheap brand name cialis
    cheap cialis online
    cheap generic viagra/cialis
    cialis online
    buy cialis super active

    KevinBon Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:27 Comment Link
  • Shanefam

    cialis sale montreal
    cialis buy
    buy cialis kl
    cialis buy
    buy discount cialis online
    cheap levitra professional oo
    levitra online
    levitra by mail order
    buy levitra online
    buy levitra in mexico

    Shanefam Wednesday, 30 August 2017 11:05 Comment Link
  • Moledexisp

    acheter cialis a pari

    online cialis


    how often should i take cialis

    Moledexisp Wednesday, 30 August 2017 07:28 Comment Link
  • Moledexisp

    prezzi del cialis


    buy cialis

    cialis usa de noche generico

    Moledexisp Tuesday, 29 August 2017 14:14 Comment Link
  • WalterAvaxy

    male enhancement pills like viagra
    buy viagra online
    tomei viagra 100mg
    viagra online
    viagra generic cost

    WalterAvaxy Monday, 28 August 2017 23:19 Comment Link
  • Termitexisp

    sudafrica viagra barata

    buy viagra online

    buy generic viagra

    acheter vrai viagra en ligne

    Termitexisp Saturday, 26 August 2017 09:27 Comment Link
  • Viacexisp

    herbal viagra golden root

    generic viagra

    cheap generic viagra

    viagra pillen teue

    Viacexisp Thursday, 24 August 2017 23:31 Comment Link
  • Johnnybeapy

    buy levitra generic
    levitra online
    buy levitra qatar
    levitra buy

    Johnnybeapy Thursday, 24 August 2017 11:34 Comment Link
  • Johnnybeapy

    buy levitra dapoxetine
    buy levitra london
    levitra cost
    buy levitra from india

    Johnnybeapy Wednesday, 23 August 2017 22:41 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia is set to host the 4th International Coffee Conference from March 6 – 8, 2016 in Addis Ababa at the United Nations Conference Center. Previous conferences were held  in England in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Read more


UAE-backed Egyptian forces arrive in Eritrea...

ሰበር ዜና ብሄራዊ ባንክ ከነገ ጀምሮ የብር ምንዛሪ ተመንን በ15% እንዲገሽብ ውሳኔ አስተላለፈ፡፡ በተጨማሪም የገንዘብ ማስቀመጫ ወለድን ከ5% ወደ 7% ከፍ እንዲል ውሳኔ...
Follow EBR News on Twitter

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next

The White-Box of Ethiopian Agriculture

The agricultural sector remains our Achilles heel, nonetheless, we remain convinced that agricultural-based development remains the only source of hope ...

Read more

For Whoever Has, to Him Shall be Given …

As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance...

Read more


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Shooting in the Dark: The Anomalies of Headhunting

The war for ‘heads’ – also known as talent – has been raging for many years and the manner headhunters ‘poach’ people is getting tougher ...

Read more

Understanding Chinese Investment in Ethiopia A Critical Evaluation of the World Bank’s “Chinese FDI in Ethiopia” Survey

The World Bank country office in Ethiopia, apparently in response to the request by the government of Ethiopia, has conducted a survey of...

Read more

Mitigating Growing Income Inequality: What Needs to Be Done

Rising income and wealth inequality in many countries around the world has been a long-term trend for three decades or more. But the atte...

Read more

View Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Delivering Life Insurance: The Untapped Market in Ethiopia

Modern insurance transaction in Ethiopia was started by an Egyptian Bank in 1905. According to Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce there were 19, 33 and 40 insuran...

Read more

Cut Throat: The Vicious Cycle of Price Based Competition in Ethiopian Insurance Industry

For most, it was imprecise how Ethiopian insurers would manage their prices devoid of actuaries. As most insurers know, premium has a more significant impact...

Read more

Headache When a Key Personnel leaves a Company in the Financial Sector

The financial sector in Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in recent decades. The dramatic rise of new market players into the sector has vividly al...

Read more