Higher League Commencement Date Pushed Back

The Ethiopian Football Federation and clubs have agreed to commence the 2016/17 Ethiopian Higher League season on November 26. The new season was about to kick off on November 12 same as the Ethiopian Premier League. However, a large section of clubs requested the postponement citing lack of a proper preseason time. EFF and clubs met at Capital Hotel and Spa on Monday as the draw for the 2016/17 was released.
The new season will have a similar format as of the 2015/16 season. Some clubs requested to extend the two group league to 3 due to the growing amount of traveling costs. The league committee presented to the conclave the 2015/16 league season report. The report indicated the competitiveness of clubs as a stronger and positive side. Hooliganism and fenceless Stadiums are among the major obstacles of last season. Axum Ketema was reinstated back to the league after Dashen Bira got defunct. The fate of Mugher Cement is still unknown. The club released a large section of players and reportedly stated the cement factory would disband the club.

Group A                                                                                                               Group B
Addis Ababa Police                                                                                            Jimma Ketema
Amhara Wuha Sport                                                                                         Negele Borena
Arada Kifle Ketema                                                                                           National Cement
Bahir Dar Ketema                                                                                             Gedio Dila
Mugher Cement                                                                                                Jinka Ketema
Ethiopia Medhin                                                                                                Federal Police
Ethiopia Wuha Sport                                                                                        Hadiya Hossana
Mekele Ketema                                                                                                 Nekemt Ketema
Sebeta Ketema                                                                                                  Debub Police
Sululta Ketema                                                                                                  Wolkite Ketema
Shire Endaselassie                                                                                            Arsi Negele
Legetafo Ketema                                                                                               Dire Dawa Police
Wolwalo Adigart University                                                                            Silte Worabe
Burayu Ketema                                                                                                 Shashemene Ketema
Wollo Kombolcha                                                                                               Kafa Bunna
Axum Ketema                                                                                                    Halaba Ketema
The proposal to include Higher League clubs in the EFF Cup received a mixed response. The conclave agreed on Higher League clubs that have the financial power and willingness are open to participate in the EFF Cup. The EFF Cup has never saw second tier clubs participating in the tourney before. At stake for the group winners is automatic promotion to the Premier League likewise the last three ranked clubs from each group will get demoted to the Ethiopian National League. Runner-ups of each group will face off in a playoff where the winner promoted to the top tier league.

Group A Week 1
Mugher Cement vs. Amhara Wuha Sport
Bahir Dar Ketema vs. Axum Ketema
Ethiopia Wuha Sport vs. Legetafo Ketema
Wollo Kombolcha vs. Arada Kifle Ketema
Ethiopia Medhin vs. Shire Endaselassie
Burayu Ketema vs. Addis Ababa Police
Mekele Ketema vs. Sebeta Ketema
Sululta Ketema vs. Wolwalo Adigrat University

Group B Week 1
Jimma Ketema vs. Debub Police
Negele Borena vs. Wolkite Ketema
National Cement vs. Arsi Negele
Gedio Dila vs. Dire Dawa Police
Jinka Ketema vs. Silte Worabe
Federal Police vs. Shashemene Ketema
Hadiya Hossana vs. Kafa Bunna
Nekemt Ketema vs. Halaba Ketema

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