31 March 2014
Former Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw has launched a scathing attack on FIFA, claiming world football’s governing body conspired to see them miss out on a place at the 2014 World Cup.
The Walia Antelopes failed to secure a ticket to this year’s Brazil showpiece after losing their qualifying play-off against Nigeria, with the Super Eagles winning 2-1 in Ethiopia before securing a 2-0 victory at home in the return leg.
But Bishaw, who was relinquished of his duties with the Ethiopian national team following their failure to qualify, believes FIFA played a huge role in the side’s shortcomings, accusing them of “bringing the game into disrepute”.
“FIFA didn’t want us (Ethiopia) to qualify (for the World Cup) because who knows Ethiopian football and who wants us to qualify when we were playing against the current African Champions,” the coach told Football411 correspondent Russel Wiafe in an exclusive interview.
“We played our hearts out and we wanted to win and qualify for the World Cup but FIFA didn’t like that. They awarded penalties for them (Nigeria) which were never penalties, and these things happens because FIFA wants them to qualify for the World Cup.
“It was a shame for Ethiopian football because we fought from the (first) blast of the whistle to the end. For me, Nigeria didn’t deserve to qualify because they were aided by FIFA, which is not good for the game of football.”
He continued: “You have to give room for all countries to compete in a friendly and fair manner but not what we saw in Ethiopia during the first leg and even the second leg – the second leg in Calabar was worst and we hope that FIFA will make things easy for emerging football countries that are doing very well in either qualifiers or a major competition, because if not they are bringing the game of football into disrepute.”