June 4, 2012

Ethiopian soccer fans in SA turn into anti-Zenawi protesters

Filed under: Azeb Mesfin,Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 9:46 am
Tags: , , , , ,

RUSTENBURG, South Africa — More than one thousand flag-waving Ethiopians used the June 3 World Cup qualifying soccer match against South Africa at Royal Bofokeng stadium to express their anger towards the brutal iron hand rule of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The drama started during the rendition of the national anthem as the vociferous and enthusiastic Ethiopian crowd heckled and jeered the TPLF-inspired anthem and loudly sang the patriotic “Ethiopia yegna Memekia,” much to the confusion of the players.

The Ethiopians then turned their attention towards the less than 30 TPLF cadres who were waving the TPLF flag and the South African security personnel watched in amazement as the marauding anti Zenawi crowd confiscated the flag.

As the match got under way, the TPLF cadres cut a lone figure at the eastern stand of the magnificent World Cup stadium. The match was as dramatic.

Spurred on by the patriotic crowd, the Ethiopian national team players dished out one of the most amazing displays of one touch soccer in a very long time.

Playing as a lone striker, the diminutive and tigerish Saladin Said showed his more illustrious South African internationals how soccer should be played.

On the 27th minute of the first half, Saladin dispossessed Getafe defender Shepo Masilela, turned Totenham Hotspur defender Bongani Kumalo inside out, and hit a screamer past the hapless Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Kune.

Saladin then ran straight to the Ethiopian crowd and celebrated his breath-taking goal in traditional Ethiopian folk dance.

After the goal, Bafana pushed hard for the equalizer but the Ethiopian defense marshalled by Tafese Tsegaye stood firm.

Young goalkeeper Sisaye Bassa also pulled off some great saves to frustrate the South Africans.

Although Bafana had equalized in the second half, at the final whistle, the South African players were seen rolling on the ground in agony as the Ethiopian national team players celebrated [the equalizer away from home] with the anti-Zenawi refugees.



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