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Fasil Kenema fans arrested en masse in Addis Ababa

Fasil Kenema fans are reportedly arrested by Federal police in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa

Fasil Kenema club  - Gonder city
Fasil Kenema fans
Source : Social Media

January 13, 2018

Today, Mekele city team and Gonder city team ( Fasil Kenema – they are also known as Atsewochu) met in Addis Ababa at three o’clock local time for the primer league tournament.

Although the game was peaceful, unlike the experiences of Fasil Kenema fans in Tigray, hundreds of Fasil Kenema fans are reportedly arrested after the match in Addis Ababa.

The game was a draw. Fasil Kenema coach, Mintesnot Getu, says his team dominated the game and had opportunities to score goals that were not exploited, especially in the first half of the match, and that Mekele city made no serious attempts at all.

Mekele City Team coach Yohannes Sahle, he was also selected to train the national team before he quite a year or so ago after series of losses, on his part says his team should have won the game.

In terms of the overall result, Fasil kenema is ranking third in the premier league while Mekele city is fourth.

Why Fasil Kenema Fans are arrested?

Fasil Kenema fans traveled all the way from Gonder but it is no secret that the team has a fairly good fan base in the capital Addis Ababa perhaps not exclusively because of soccer sentiment but by political sentiment. It has also fans from Oromo region of Ethiopia. The team received stellar reception when it traveled to Nazret (Adama) for a match against Adama city team.

Fasil Kenema fans were in Addis Ababa stadium today with a mood of celebration of the two hundred years birthday memorial of Ethiopia’s undisputably visionary monarch, Emperor Tewodros II, which is tomorrow.

After completion of the game at Addis Ababa stadium, fans joined by other Ethiopians went on to celebrating Emperor Tewodos and marched to Tedwodros square in the city. Reports in social media say they were chanting anti-TPLF (ruling party) slogans. And that is when according to eyewitness accounts that the Federal police surrounded the fans and arrested hundreds of them.

But, generally, Ethiopian Premier League soccer tournament has become a trouble to the government rather than something that it should fear. The reason is that matches between different regions in the country have essentially become scenes of political showdowns.

The problem is stronger when a team from Tigray region, which is the political base of Tigray People’s Liberation Front, plays against a team from Amhara or Oromo regions of Ethiopia. Tournament virtually sounds like an encounter between two ethnic groups and the picture that emerges from it reflects ethnic politics; what the regime in power passionate about with a sort of revolutionary fervor but it is slowly dying from it. The relation between the regime and ethnic politics is like a relation between man and heroin or man and alcohol. And the regime is now towards the end of its life.

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