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Ydnekatchew Tessema


Ydnekatchew Tessema (September 11, 1921 – August 19, 1987) is a former Ethiopian president of the Confederation of African Football, footballer, manager.

More by user: miba
Created: 11th Apr 2008
Modified: 11th Apr 2008
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Ydnekatchew was born in Jimma to father Negadras Tessema Ehete and mother Mulatwa Gebreselassie. Ydnekatchew's father was serving his fifth year of exile from the country for being the minister of telegraphe and posts of the deposed monarch head, Iyasu V of Ethiopia. This never really affected the relationship between Ydnekatchew and Haile Silassie,the two are seen in many shots where Ydnekatchew humbly accepst another trophy for another achievement from the king. At age four Ydnekatchew was sent to Teferi Mekonen school, where he would do most of his educating.At school, the young Ydnekatchew played many sports but mastered football. At age 8 he was even made captain of his school team. In his teens, he also practiced cycling, short distance running and boxing,but he always seemed destined ofr football,and its what led him to being scouted by a member of the Arada FC (now Saint-George SA).

The young Ydnekatchew took French, English and Italian classes and was fluent in all those languages besides, Amharic.

Biographical Information
Ydnekatchew Tessema
(At a Glance)
Interests: Sport, Music, Fashion
  City: Addis-Abeba
Place of Origin: Ethiopia

He is considered as one of the country's biggest sporting heroes. He played and coached Ethiopian clubs and teams and invented the modern Ethiopian Sports office at age 22. As a player he spent his entire career at Saint-George SA in Addis-Abeba, joining the youth team in 1935 at age 14. Wearing the V across his chest he played 23 years straight with them including his youth years ,a country record. Another record he holds is a 43 goals from 47 goals scored by his team. He is the all time leading scorer of Saint George sa. In 1947, the Ethiopia national football team started playing international football, he was already 28 years old and the squad was vying for younger players, nevertheless he would get 15 caps to his name.His first cap was may 1st 1947 in a 5-0 victory over Djibouti. He was also selected for the African cup of nations 1957,even though Ethiopia finished second ,without an Ethiopian scoring a goal. He was criticized as being "too old",comments mainly manufactured on the fact that he was 36 years old at the time.After the tournanement,Ydnekatchew stopped playing for the national team. There was also rumors that he was offered contracts from Inter Milan, El Zamalek, and Liverpool.

His record for the country led him to coach the Ethiopia national football team, after his player retirement for a glorious period, and in 1962, at age 41 when the African Cup of Nations was to be held in Ethiopia, he led them to their only championships in this respected tournament,beating Egypt 4-2 in the final. Ethiopian football was at its peak then, as Haile Selassie the emperor of Ethiopia awarded them the trophy.

So Ydnekatchew stayed on as chairman of team selections from 1950 to 1976. In 1972 he became president of CAF, Africa's football governing body, and would stay on until his death in 1987. He would lead many Ethiopian sports organisations,including Ethiopia's Olympic teams for the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics. He was also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee,in 1966 until 1974, and is known for his part in a victorious fight against apartheid in South African and international sports.

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