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Adigrat club coach led players to beat a referee at Addis Ababa Stadium

May 1, 2018

Wolwalo Adigrat University soccer club says that it has terminated club coach Maru Gebretsadik following an incident at Addis Ababa Stadium yesterday which shocked Ethiopians to the core.

In what is said to be the Week 22 of Ethiopian Primer League Wolwalo Adigrat University Team met Ethiopian Defense yesterday at Addis Ababa Stadium.

Ethiopian State media, EBC, reported that Wolwalo Adigrat team scored first in the 22 minute of the first half of the match and Ethiopian Defense Team equalized in the 32 minutes.

In the second half of the Match, Defense scored the second goal in the 83 minute but the match was discontinued the next minute as Adigrat Wolwalo University team beat up the referee.

The coach led a group of Adigrat University players to beat referee of the match, Eyasu Fente. The aggressive attack came following a goal by Defense. The players contested that it was not a goal and went on to chase the referee who was caught and brought down by the coach, as shown in the video above.

In a letter written today to Ethiopian Football Federation, the club announced that what has happened on the pitch at Addis Ababa stadium is “unacceptable.” In addition to firing the coach, the team announced that it has given warning to players who were involved in the event.

The question that many Ethiopians seem to be asking is if the measure that the club has taken proactively, seemingly to influence decision within Ethiopian Football Federation, is enough. Observers call for the club to be suspended from Ethiopian Premier League this year.

The incident is unprecedented in the history of the country. Analysts tend to think that the incident is a manifestation of tension related to ethnic politics in the country.

Last year, a student was killed at Adigrat University in connection with ethnic violence.

In December of last year, Mekele City soccer team and Woldia City soccer team fans clashed in the Woldia after Mekele city fans allegedly threw ethnic slurs and one person was reported dead.

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