In an unprecedented turn of events that shook the Ethiopian footballing realm, it has been revealed to The Reporter that 11 referees have been assaulted by players and fans to date including the latest battering of Eyasu Fanta, a referee who officiated the match between Defense FC and Welwalo Adigrat University FC. Because of this, match officials have been severely injured.
It is to be recalled that in game week 17 of the Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) held between Woldia City and Fasil City in Wolidia stadium; match referee Lemmi Niguse and assistant referee Mustefa Meki were severely injured by football hooligans.
Another incident took place in a higher league game between Butajira Town and Ethio- Cement that saw referee Yonas Markos assaulted. This was not the only case in point, in a higher league match in Arsi Negelle, referee Dereje Wagari and Epherem Debele were ruthlessly beaten and are currently receiving medical treatments.
It is not only the beating of referees; in a higher league games held in towns of Butajira, Werabe and Durame; ongoing matches were canceled due to fans outrageous behaviors during the games.
Following the repetitive football hooliganism, the Ethiopian Referees Association (ERA) called a general assembly on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 that was held at the Ethiopian Youth Academy.