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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Young Eritrean Referees get certified by FIFA.

While recent soccer news out of Eritrea may not have been as good as we would like them to be, it should be noted that this young nation seems to still be doing well in the sports world as well as soccer. The arrival of diaspora Eritreans playing for their motherland is a great success in itself. Even the Swedish player of the year and top 2 scorer was proud to represent his great nation that many people gave up their lives for. It is also to be noted that the history of Eritrean soccer is one that most people know to be way advanced since the early days of Italian occupation despite recent player defections. However, if we took a little time and see that Eritrean referees have done very well, we may come to appreciate that the rules and regulation on the field are very well versed and taught as a process that helps the game tremendously within the country. 

On January 10th, 2016 fourteen referees from 4 different regions of Eritrea got their FIFA badge and should be able to start officiating games very soon. Congratulations to all 14 who have been certified. To add to the good news out of the 14 referees three females were included indicating that diversity is a part and parcel of the Eritrean society. Twelve of the fourteen also had been working in an international standard game situation. Their names are as follows starting with the 5 internationally qualified head referees,

1. Amanuel Eyob  From Anseba Region
2. Yemane Asfaha From Southern Region
3. Yonas Zekarias From Central Region
4. Idris Mohammed From Southern Red Sea Region
5. Yodit Fitwi from Central Region

Meanwhile the assistant referees which can serve as one of three assistants to the main referee are as follows,

1. Angesom Ougbamariam from the Central Region
2. Berhe Teklegiorgish From the Central Region
3. Suleiman Saleh From the Anseba Region
4. Higush Mohamedberhan From the Southern Region
5. Bekit Mohamedberhan From the Anseba Region
6. Yohannes Kifle From the Southern Region
7. Yohannes Tewolde From the Central Region
8. Tsega Hasan From the Central Region
9. Elsa Yohannes From the Central Region

                             Newly FIFA Certified Eritrean referees along with ENFF 

Congratulations to all those referees and they will be representing Eritrea in many international games. Let us now look back at the history of referees who have done well internationally and also happen to be Eritreans. 

To start with the current ENFF (Eritrean National Football Federation) head Tesfaye Gebreyesus is a well known international referee who has officiated big games including the following important games. The 1970 African nations Cup final game between Sudan and Ghana which Sudan the host ended up winning, FIFA U-20 World Cup 1977,  In the African nations cup 1978, Final game of 1980 African nations cup between Nigeria and Algeria where the super eagles won, In FIFA U-20 World Cup 1981, In The 1984 Olympics that took place in Los Angeles, USA, In the African nations cup 1988 and many other games. He was a pioneer and of the early well known referees of Eritrean descent.

Tesfaye Gebreyesus here seen behind Education Minister Semere Russom during the last CECAFA event Eritrea hosted.

Meanwhile World football governing body, FIFA named Mensur Maeruf Kherseed from Eritrea as referee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Namibia, played in Windhoek. Maeruf Kherseed became an international referee in 2008, while another Eritrean referee Berhe Tesfagiorghis O’Michael became an international assistant referee in 2004. Another Eritrean, Luelseghed Ghebremichael also officiated games as a number 4 referee in the 2014 world cup that was held in Brazil. So the resume of Eritreans in the refereeing industry should be used as an example of another success story in Eritrean sports.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium

Thursday, December 17, 2015

King of the mountain at Tour De France is King of African Cycling for 2015.

King of the mountain at Tour De France is King of African Cycling for 2015.

Only a few people have the ability to make history in sports events. These are people who work hard and dedicate themselves to winning and being successful. In 2015 Eritrea and it's athletes have done wonders and like many other nations, Eritrea's emergence in sports in general and cycling in particular has turned some heads all over the globe. A nation whose love for cycling goes way back in the 1920s & 30's has shown the world that while it may be located in Africa, its cyclists are top notch.

                                Daniel participating and making history at the Tour De France 2015.
     This year in a very deserving moment our rider from Eritrea has become the first African to earn one of the coveted jerseys in the Tour de France — the grueling three-week contest that has traditionally been dominated by European and American riders. Daniel claimed the polka-dot jersey for top climber at the Tour de France's Stage 6 this past summer. It is also to be recalled that Danny & Merhawi Kudus are the first black Africans to ride in pro cycling's most prestigious race.

Daniel Teklehaimanot was elected African Cyclist of the Year 2015 by a jury made up of African and European specialists and chaired by Bernard Hinault a former cyclist who won the Tour de France five times & consults the Tour De France. Daniel, the best climber of the Critérium du Dauphiné and bearer of the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France, beat his South African teammate Louis Meintjes, who took 10th place in the Vuelta and Tunisian Rafaa Chtioui
(Skydive Dubai), winner of the Tropical Amissa Bongo in Gabon.

In the competition for this year's Best African Cyclist award were three other Eritreans including Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane & Mekseb Debesay who all had a great year. Eritrean fans were treated to some spectacular cycling in Europe, Africa & the USA where hundreds of fans gathered in Richmond, VA during the UCI championships that took place in September 2015.

Eritrean Riders participate everywhere!

                                            Eritrean fans making a strong presence in Richmond, VA

Congratulations to all Eritreans and Daniel and the entire Eritrean cycling federation and the nation of Eritrea who continues to shine in sports and other sectors that will make it a country to be reckoned with.

For Eri-International Sports

Mike Seium

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eritrean-American female runner from Virginia wins national title in San Diego.

Eritrean-American female runner from Virginia wins national title in San Diego.

Eritrean-American high school standout and a great future prospect, Weini Kelati of Leesburg, Va. captured a first place title at the 37th Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) National Finals at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., this week. Kelati won in a time of 17:10 in San Diego, home of another Eritrean-American legend Meb Kiflezghi. This is a great achievement for Kelati who has been working hard to get to this point.

                                 Weini taking off to win a national title! Congratulations!

In this national event, another Eritrean-American Futsum Zienaslassie a current stand out at Northern Arizona University was a second place runner up in 2011.In this year's girls' race, Kelati, a two-time FLCCC national qualifier, took an early lead, cruising to a mile split of 5:13. Maryjeanne Gilbert (Peoria, Ill.) closed the gap and took a brief lead prior to the race's midway point. Kelati reclaimed the lead quickly while Nevada Mareno (Leesville, N.C.) and Judy Pendergast (Naperville, Ill.) joined the lead pair. Kelati and Gilbert pulled away in the final stretch with Gilbert finishing second (17:11), Mareno in third (17:18) and Pendergast in fourth (17:20).

                                  Weini and the male Champion! holding their award.

A little bit about the FLCCC (Foot Locker Cross Country Championships).
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Bronx, N.Y.), South (Charlotte, N.C.)and West (Walnut, Calif.), culminating in the National Finals here today.

Weini is a star in the making and don't be surprised if you hear her name in the very near future doing big things. Congratulations to Weini and her team. It is to be recalled that Eri-International sports blog did a small piece on Weini earlier this year.

For Eri-International sports.

Mike Seium