Esayas Jira elected as new boss of Ethiopia Football Federation

Esayas Jira, the newly elected president of Ethiopia’s Football Federation

Esayas Jira has been voted in as the new head of Ethiopia’s Football Federation (EFF), following a long and protracted presidential election.

Jira, 46, beat three other candidates for the top job, winning 87 of the 145 votes from the General Assembly in Semera.

He was able to run as a candidate after receiving backing from the Oromia region, and secured a big lead over his closest challenger, Teka Assefaw, to seal the victory.

“I am so overjoyed. After a long, overdue and rocky journey we put an end to this nightmare. I am just elated,” Jira told BBC Sport.

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The EFF presidential elections have been beset with problems and have been postponed by Fifa on four occasions.

In the first poll on Sunday 3 June, Jira beat Assefaw, outgoing president Juneidi Basha and the outsider Tesfaye Kahesaye – but a Fifa representative deemed the election illegitimate after Jira failed to win a majority vote.

In the re-run later in the day, Jira secured a landslide victory over Assefaw as Kahesaye and Basha resigned their candidatures.

The election took eight months to conclude, after Fifa ordered Ethiopia to make changes to its electoral process in a bid to bring it in line with Fifa statutes.

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Jira has worked as a football administrator for the last 20 years, and most recently has been working as general manager at Ethiopian Premier League outfit, Jimma Aba Jifar FC.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad has phoned the newly elected EFF boss.

Ahmad congratulated Jira and assured him of Caf’s commitment to co-operate with the Ethiopia Federation.

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