Imported professionals stranded on reserve bench


Seventeen foreign players did not play in the Ethiopian Premier League second round opening fixtures over the week end. The only two sides that used all their foreign footballers are newly promoted Mekele and Jimma AbaJifar, each fielding four.
Despite a hard earned 1-0 away victory over Sidama Bunna, Ethiopia Bunna supporters were unhappy with two of the foreign players stranded on the reserve bench while the newly signed Boban Zirintusa was nowhere to be seen. The Nigerian Samuel Sannumi’s single strike and goalie Harrison Hesu’s big effort saved the visitors in a nail biting 1-0 win. Where are those big name foreigners?  Supporters lauded after the match.
The same thing was true for 1-0 away winners Fasil which shelved three of its five players. Philip Dawzi, Sundau Mutuku and Uganda Hamis Kiza. A miserable and unkind own goal from goalie Zewdu Mesfin gave Fasil a narrow win over Welwalo, which also parked Adengo Richmond on the bench.
In miserable form Saint George returned from Diredawa after a goal less draw. Diredawa had two of their three foreign players in the field. The defending champion Saint George has six foreign footballers on their roster out of which only three have appeared in the lineup. In addition the foreign head coach leads a team that stands at 5th in the league table.
With two foreign players in the rank home side Adama crushed visitors Woldya 3-1. None of Woldya’s four foreign footballers were in the starting line-up but two were on the reserve bench. Hawassa used Sohoho Mensa in goal and parked Laurence Larte at the side line. Bottom of the table Ethio-Electric fielded two of their five foreign footballers yet returned home after a 3-1 demolition at the hands of Mekelakya.
Despite fielding three of their four imported players with one praying at the reserve bench, league leaders Dedebit lost 1-0 to home side Wolayta Dicha a side that boasts Jaco Arafat the only foreigner. This shows that lining-up foreign players does not mean winning the match. But the big question is how come there are many foreign footballers earning six digit salaries blocking the chances of local talents could get away with such privileges.