21 August 2018

Ethiopia: National Football Side Remain 151st in August World FIFA Rankings

The brave Ethiopian boys who defeated the Sudanese Falcons in Addis Ababa with a 2-0 margin to qualify for the African Nations Cup for the first time in 31 years

ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopian national football side remained 151st position in August FIFA world rankings that was announced on Thursday. In July the national side had the same 151st position. But in May and April the Ethiopian standing were 146th and145th, in the order of that

This was another big blow in the span of 30 days. This steady downward movement has remained unchanged for the last 10 or so months.

Look at the March FIFA rankings: The Ethiopian national football team have suffered the first blow in FIFA's March rankings when they were down to 137th position in the world after dropping two places and are 39th on the continent. In the February rankings Ethiopia remained 39th in Africa and 135th globally.

Right after the country qualified for the African Nations Cup for the first time in 31 years in October 2012, they ranked 102 in the world moving up 16 places.

Comparing to that, Ethiopia's current 151st position is disappointing. Ethiopia's best position was registered in 2006 when it ranked 92nd. The only other time Ethiopia broke in the top 100 was back in 1993 ranking 96. Ethiopia had also the 95th position. These positions were seen as signs of improvement.

After the end of tart of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Uganda remained stagnant in the 82nd position.

Remaining in the same position by Uganda Cranes comes as a result of not participating in any friendly or competitive games over the past month.

However, the Cranes still remain the best in the East African region with neighbors Kenya in position 112, Tanzania at 140, Burundi at 148 and Rwanda at 136.

Eritrea, South Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia are in the least row of the FIFA world rankings.

World Cup participant Tunisia remained top of the African list and 24th in the world to be followed by Senegal (24), Congo DR (37). Ghana and Morocco are fourth and fifth.

Ghana made big improvements this time. The new table sees Ghana move from 47th to the 45th spot, with a leap in total accumulated points from 624 to 1424.

It is the fourth successive upward step for the Black Stars, who missed the global fiesta after a disastrous qualifying campaign.

Placed 50th in August last year, Kwesi Appiah's outfit now find themselves between the Czech Republic (44) and Morocco (46) on the ladder. On continental level, Ghana have moved up by two places from sixth to fourth.

This is Ghana's highest ever performance since the ranking's introduction in August 1993 remains a 14 place in February 2008, while their worst placement was an 89 position reached in June 2004.

Cameroon (47), Nigeria (49), Burkina Faso (52) and Mali (63) make up Africa's top 10.

World champions France, meanwhile, have taken over the top spot on the global table after their exploits at the summer tournament in Russia. An upward movement by six places makes Les Bleus the new kings, with bronze medalists Belgium also jumping up by one position to 2nd.

Brazil have fallen by a spot to the third position, while silver medalists Croatia have moved a staggering 16 positions to fourth on the table, just ahead of fifth-placed Uruguay.

England, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark, in that order, make up the new top 10,

Germany, table leaders before the World Cup, have heavily fallen by 14 places to a current 15th position.

2018 World Cup hosts Russia were the best movers, climbing up by 21 places to position 49, while Egypt fell hardest, dropping by 20 places to 65.

FIFA introduced a new rankings procedure. The rankings have been previously based on the average number of points that a team accumulates over a four-year period. The ranking points in each match were determined by its result, its value and the relative strength of the opponent and their confederation. The system also had yearly basis depreciation for the value of the matches.

The new version developed by FIFA was named "SUM" as it relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the World Ranking.

The points which are added or subtracted are partially determined by the relative strength of the two opponents, including the logical expectation that teams higher in the ranking should fare better against teams lower in the ranking.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on September 20, 2018.

Japan's Solidarity of International judo hands over 100 tatami mats

ADDIS ABABA - The Japan's Solidarity of International Judo Education provided 100 tatami mats to promote judo in Ethiopia on Friday at Juventus club.

During the hand over ceremony Mr. Akira Uchida, Charge d'Affairs of the Japanese Embassy in Ethiopia said that judo is the Japanese traditional sport and educational tool that teaches discipline, mutual respect among the population.

The items are provided by Tokai University through Japan's Solidarity of International Judo Education. The cooperation of All Japan Judo Federation was the main part to make easy this hand over ceremony, according to Uchida.

"We hope to see Judo and its philosophy go deep in to the Ethiopian society to help them spread discipline and mutual respect," he said.

Judo is one of the most poplar sports the world over. It has been the Olympic sport for years. Mr. Uchida said that if Ethiopia manages to produce world class judo contenders and qualify for the Olympics, without doubt the possibility of attracting media coverage word wide will be huge.

"Taking part in the Olympics is a dream of all athletics. It may not be easy to get a place in Olympics at this time but it is manageable," the diplomat said.

"Participation gives high encouragement and self confidence. It also contributes to the country's positive image building drive. Ethiopia is known in the world of athletics. I know Abebe Bikila who won gold medal in Tokyo Olympics in 1964. I was 7 years old at that time. His inspiration remains in the minds of the Japanese people up to this day. Make this success in other sports such as Judo. You will be seen as heroes in every corner of the world," he added.

In his view the inspiration of Abebe Bikila will remain in the minds of the Japanese people in the years to come.

Cognizant to this, Mr. Akira Uchida, further said that this contribution will help the young Ethiopians to promote their talent to get berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in judo sports.

"With this in mind the Japan's Solidarity of International Judo Education has a plan to steadily implement different programmes including the provision of tatami mats, judo uniforms and dispatching judo trainers," he said.

Mr. Uchida's well trimmed speech during the ceremony has motivated the young Ethiopians who were in the judo training at Juventus towards the Olympic spirit. He said: we strongly believe that, here after, children, women and men will access safe judo with professional tatami mats. The spirit of Olympics is an instrument that put people together for friendship and cooperation, the diplomat said.

Asked about the possible contribution of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizers to the Ethiopian Tokyo Olympic contingent, he was cautious to comment.

But in his careful selection of words, he said, the there is the possibility of the Ethiopian contingent to stay in Japan days ahead of the Olympics to acclimatize the temperature in Tokyo.

Mr. Uchida was also asked about his country's similar donations to other federations such asathletics federation.

Well, he said, it is difficult to give accurate answer to this question. "What is true is that we are doing our level best to encourage all young Ethiopians who participate in different sports. We have the belief that supporting sports materials for the youth means supporting the health sector. Physical activities will make people healthy. In Ethiopia the majority of the population is the young people. It is good a wide range of sports activities are in place for the young. At the same it is easier to select elite athletes from the wider community, he concludes.

National U-17 football team collect 9 points with 3 wins

ADDIS ABABA - The national U-17 football team collected the full nine points from three games in the ongoing CECAFA youth cup in the Tanzanian capital dare salaam.

The national side had a 1-0 win over Uganda in the opening day and a 5-1 win over South Sudan on Sunday gave them the full 9 points from three games.

A win or a draw with Kenya is enough for the national side to go through to the second round.

The youth team coach Temesgen Dana said from Tanzania that he expects a good result from this contest.

Record goal scorer Getaneh joins St. George

ADDIS ABABA - The country's record goal scorer with 25 goals has joined Saint George with undisclosed transfer fee.

Getaneh scored 25 goals in the 2016/17 Ethiopian season with Dedebit to break the country's record held by Yordanos Abay for 20 years. Yordanos was the striker of the two-time champions Electric when he set the country's record 20 years ago. The sad story is that electric were demoted to the lower division in the just concluded season.

Getaneh is the national team's ace striker when the side advanced for the 2013 African Nations Cup that was held in South Africa.

EBC to elect best athlete of the year

ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, better known as EBC, will elect the best athlete of the 2017/18 season. This is the second time for EBC to give award for the winners in different fields.

For this season athletes such as Genzebe Dibaba is nominated as a candidate for the best woman athlete of the year. On the men's part athlete like Solomon Berega is a candidate. Candidates are also named of the men's and women's footballers.

The organizers indicated that they intend to elect best athletes in different sports starting next season.

Olympic marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lelisa to return home

ADDIS ABABA - The 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lelisa is expected to return home by the joint invitation of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (ETF).

Feyisa's popularity went high up beyond anyone's imagination following his gesture at the crossing line of the Rio Marathon. Few realized that criss-crossing of his hand over his head would mean a sign of opposition against the government in that magnitude before the Rio Marathon. But right after that Feyisa's gesture the symbolic criss-crossing of fingers became widely known the world over through the international media.

Considering the change in the country, both EOC and EAF invited the athlete to return home from exile. He has been in the USA for the last two years.

Compiled by Solomon Bekele

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