ADDIS ABEBA – Following a 2-1 win over the visiting Egyptian side Zamalek last week Wednesday at the Hawassa international stadium, the Ethiopian CAF Confederation Cup representatives Wolayita Dicha players and staff members were given 520, 000 Birr bonus the next day, Thursday, the club announced.
Right after the side earned the sweet 2-1 victory over the most experienced and the hot favorite’s Egyptian side Zamalek the board of the club decided to give 20, 000 Birr bonus to each player and staff member.
Board chairman Dr. Getahun Garedew said in the statement that the players did what they could for their club and the country. “The players may fight to gain glory and fame through victory. That is what they expect from football career but the club management went beyond that. Depending on our financial capacity we decided to give them 20, 000 birr cash bonus to the players each. This is the beginning. We expect to do more in the days ahead for the players.”
The match between Wolayita Dicha and Zamalek was transmitted live on international TV. The board said that the club received 25, 000 USD from the TV rights deal. This brought a lucrative income for the club, said the club in the statement.
To this day Wolayita Dicha are the second club to win over Zamalek, The first one was Mechale, the Defence Force side close to 40 years ago.
Last week the country hosted two international matches. One was at the Addis Ababa stadium between the Ethiopia’s CAF Champions League representatives Saint George and the visiting side KCCA of Uganda that eventually ended in a goalless tie.
There was a dramatic event in Addis Ababa after the 2-1 victory of Wolayita Dicha was heard. In light of the poor performance of Wolayita Dicha in the season’s competition few expected that Wolayita would win over the highly favourite Zamalek. For Wolayita Dicha this was the second time to take part in the international competition. In their debut, Wolayita Dicha beat the Tanzanian side Zumamuto in the preliminary to reach this stage.
Wolayita Dicha were not even expected to lift the Ethiopian knock out trophy for the first time in their 5-year history.
Comparing to the 107 years of Zamalek history and a 5 years Wolayita Dicha the people were extremely happy. Plus, beating the Egyptian side on home ground has always been received with extreme jubilation.
Considering these all, the huge crowed who were gathered to witness the match between Ethiopia’s CAF Champions League representatives Saint George and the visiting side KCCA of Uganda at the Addis Ababa stadium were cheerful.
Forgetting the disappointment over the dropping of two points following a goalless draw with the visiting side KCCA of Uganda, St. George fans jumped in to air with delight.
The crowed immediately began singing and dancing to make the victory celebration colourful.
There is no doubt that the return match will be a tough challenge for Wolayita Dicha. Using their might of experience, Zamalek have the possibility to advance in to the group stage but appearing strong contenders in their international debut is indeed magnificent.
In the eyes of the national football fans the result registered by Wolayita Dicha is worthy of appreciation. Advancing in to the group stage knocking out Zamalek is a big plus for Wolayita Dicha.
The coincidence was that the most experienced St. George side dropped points. The Ugandan coach prediction is also proved correct. As he said he managed to share a point as a result of a goalless tie with St. George. Ahead of the game, the coach advised his players to avoid past mistakes and pick a decent result away against Ethiopia’s St. George.
St. George assistant coach Fassil Tekalign at the end said that his side spoiled the chance of getting in to the group stage for the second straight year. “I didn’t expect this result but we have another full 90 minutes. We will try our level best to gain victory in the return leg,” Fasil said.
Meanwhile, Wolayita Dicha secured a 2-0 home win over the visiting Woldiya City in their remaining Ethiopian Premier League.
Coca Cola Cup cycling race series to start next Sunday
ADDIS ABABA – The season’s Addis Ababa Coca Cola cycling race series is set to start the coming Sunday at the Tsion Hotel venue, the Addis Ababa Cycling Federation (AACF) announced.
According to the AACF announcement the seasons cycling competition is sponsored by Coca Cola East Africa Bottling Share Company. The sponsorship deal was set for the coming one year with the possibility of extension.
Under this sponsorship deal the AACF will get 570, 000 (Five hundred seventy thousand) Birr from Coca Cola East Africa Bottling S. C for one year.
For Coca Cola East Africa Bottling S. C this is the second year running to sponsor the Addis Ababa cycling race series. Last year Coca Cola covered the cost of the series all through to the end. The sponsorship deal at that time was close to 500, 000 Birr.
The federation further said that the Sunday race that will start at Tsion Hotel is expected to attract a huge crowed.
Last year the race began at the Addis Ababa stadium. That was indeed a colourful beginning. Rezene Beyene, President of the Addis Ababa Cycling Federation said that the stadium venue has the capacity to attract huge crowed. “People are accustomed to go around the stadium. That helps to attract many people when there is a cycling race. Despite this fact, venues like Tsion Hotel have now become famous for cycling fans. That is because the road from Tsion hotel up to Wingate School is very convenient for cyclists. We hope very many people will come to witness the Sunday opening day race at Tsion Hotel,” Rezene said.
The federation said that this year there will be seven contending clubs, one more than the previous year. The clubs are the Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise (EGTE), Electric, Garad, Eritrean Refugees, Yeka Sub City and Ethiopian Youth Academy. The newly addition seventh side are Birhanena Selema enterprise,” Rezene said.
Coca Cola has always been behind sports. This may be the corporate responsibility. The company has been the main sponsor for World Cup for many, many years. “But in our case Coca came it is not only to promote and develop cycling sports in Addis Ababa but the desire to invest on the future generation,” the president remarked.
“Due to this the current sponsorship deal includes youth training program in different sub cities. We appreciate clubs like Yeka Sub City club who bring strong and enthusiastic young cyclists along with cheering supporters during the race. This must be the tradition of all clubs. We must take lesson from Yeka sub city. We will try to give training for sub cities such as Bole, Kolfe Keranio, Nefas Silk Lafto, Arada and of course Yeka. This year we insist to implement this kind of youth training formation in order to strengthened the future of Cycling in Addis,” he epitomized.
The federation is grateful for the patron of AACF Nebiyou Samuel Ferenj. “He did what he could to the AACF. In fact he is the key player in the cycling promotion and development scheme in Addis Ababa. This kind of individuals is really helpful for the progress of sports,” Rezene said.
The women’s participation in cycling sports is limited. This time the federation encourages the women’s to participate in wider margin.
“Our major hurdle is the shortage of materials. Cycle and Tyres are expensive. We need sixcyclists for one club race. But providing full materials for six cyclists including the reserve is a bit burdensome,” he commented citing one example the federation faced last year.
Six cyclists take part in any team competition of whom the points of the four contenders are registered for the team. The team will be disqualified if the number of cyclists goes below four. In an unusual circumstance, due to injury two cyclists of the Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise, (EGTE) failed to appear for one big event. The four cyclists decided to take part in this race.
“We had the fear that their points would be disqualified if one of the four cyclists got out of the race. If the tyre gets a problem one could be disqualified so that the points of others could not be registered. But four of them completed the race taking from one up to four places,” Rezene Beyene said.
This makes the cycling race different from other activities. The Addis Ababa Cycling federation, (AACF), has invited enthusiastic cycling fans to witness the coming Sunday opening race for free at the Tsion hotel venue.
By Solomon Bekele