ESPN1 Channel


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Great News: One step ahead for Eritrean National soccer team.

     In a recent interview on Eritrean Television the ENFF (Eritrean National Football Federation) announced a new coaching staff as well as a new director. The direction in which the ENFF is going seems to be a great one. I have been an advocate of the "Red Sea Boys" as they are known internationally these days, since very early during Eritrea's independence. I am a strong believer that with support and an excellent management style the national team will do just as well as our running and cycling national teams. It is now a fact that Cycling has over taken soccer as the national sport of Eritrea. What baseball is to Cuba or the USA, Cycling is to Eritrea.

     On this day September 22nd, 2015 which also happens to be my birthday I would like to say thank you to one of the best ERITREAN soccer players ever. Henok Goitom is probably the best soccer player of Eritrean descent in a sense that he has achieved more than any other ERITREAN national at home or in the diaspora in his career as a soccer player. He currently leads the Swedish Premier league with 13 goals and seems to be having an incredible season. He is a humble person who has done so much for his community. He should be the example that every Eritrean athlete should emulate. He is a hard worker and a dedicated player who could have easily been selected for the Swedish national team in his younger years. He is still young and very well experienced as he turns 31 on the same day as the blogger, September 22nd, 2015. I am honored to have that connection as I have followed him since his early days.

Henok has announced officially that he plans to be play for ERITREA! Even though thousands and and thousands of Swedish fans who are aware that he could only help the Swedish National Team have been advocating for his presence on the team, the coaches nor the Swedish football federation don't seem like they want him on the team. This is an issue that can be discussed at a later time but does race seem to have anything with it? With only three previous black players Martin Dahlin, Henrik Larsson and a player who was not as good but pioneering for the Swedes Jean Paul Vonderberg who all had half Swedish blood, chances of tarnishing the Swedish national team with an ERITREAN seems a bit far fetched for the Swedes. However, I find this to be a blessing in disguise for ERITREA and the simple fact that the current leading scorer with 15 goals for AIK Stockholm in Sweden's top league has chosen to play for ERITREA instead of Sweden is one step ahead for the ERITREAN national Soccer team.

With the addition of two players playing in Sudan as well as a couple of players from other European teams, the Eritrean national team should take on Botswana in the first round of the 2018 world cup qualifying match next month. While it is difficult to asses how the team will do, the one thing going for ERITREA is that it will have some experience and with the fighting spirit of the local players who seem to be picked from all across the country, chances of a successful attempt to reach the world cup is not too far. As supporters we need to continue to encourage the players as we have done our Cyclists and Runners.

Meanwhile for a player the caliber of Henok Goitom with a great personality, I want to say thank you for all that you have done for the people of ERITREA. Your dad & family whom I have had the honor of speaking in the past have done a great job in instilling the passion that you have for your Country of ERITREA! The pioneering efforts such as wearing a jersey in La Liga with "TIGRINIA" letters and the many times you have donated funds to the ERITREAN martyrs fund will never go in vain. You have made history as a soccer player and as a great human being. You story will go far towards many generations.

Mike Seium

For Eri-International sports blog

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wrong Information must be corrected at all times.

     During these great times in sports achievements for the State of Eritrea we have all been immersed by the excitement that seems to have taken us away by storm. However, It is also important to correct information that is disseminated by the media or even the organizations that are not familiar with ERITREA. It is therefor our duty as the ambassadors of Eritrea to keep an eye and inform those who have made an honest mistake. As it is Eritrea is known to get bad press and sometimes wrong press on purpose because of outside influences which are bent on destroying it's image. Image is everything and when our athletes or other high achievers speak to the media, there needs to be a standard in which we communicate. For Example here is a report from CCTV-Africa which has done a nice story on Eritrea's new Phenom Ghirmay Ghebreslassie who happens to have a last name as the legendary Haile Ghebreslassie of Ethiopia. It is imperative that the association of the two athletes is differentiated by their nationalities. While it has been rumored and may be true that the former coach of Haile is now the coach of the young Ghirmay who handed him the water in his final surge towards the IAAF marathon championship in Beijing 2015, the relationship ends there because Haile is an Ethiopian and Ghirmay is an Eritrean with the same last names. CCTV's reporter claims in the story that Ghirmay is the brother of Haile Ghebreslassie which is wrong information and on the 3:34 mark of the story the Character Generator puts the name of Ghirmay with "Haile" infront of it.
CCTV-Africa hopefully will correct the mistake in their report. Here below is the story.

Meanwhile in the IAAF Biography page the IAAF has made a mistake in identifying the nationality of ERITREAN yes ERITREAN athlete Nazret Woldu who has represented ERITREA on many occasions as an Ethiopian. This is wrong information and must be corrected. Eri-International sports blog has contacted the IAAF and let them know that they have the wrong information on Nazret Woldu and this is the response we got.

I quickly remove nothing.
When I will receive a copy of his passport saying
He is Eritrean I will take action, after the Championships.
In any case, be informed that I don’t dream the nationality
of an athlete, it means that I took it from the results of some race.


Ottavio Castellini
IAAF Statistics & Documentation Senior Manager

We responded back by writing, the following e-mail;


     A very good morning to you sir.Nazret is a female first of all and she is an Eritrean. Unless you have another name by the name of Nazret Woldu, I can assure you that she is an Eritrean and will be participating for ERITREA this week in the IAAF world championship. However I am concerned because if she wins and you put out her bio as an Ethiopian you will be held accountable for wrong information and believe me ERITREANS all over the world will let you hear it. I have contacted Nazret and I hope the Eritrean Athletics Federation will contact you ASAP.

Thank you.
Respectfully yours.


Hopefully the wrong information will be removed from the IAAF website indicating that Nazret Woldu is an ERITREAN and not an Ethiopian. Here is the link to the website with the wrong information.

It makes a huge difference as the flag which Ghirmay Ghebreslassie waved in his world championship performance came at a very high cost to the people of ERITREA! I also encourage all Eritreans to write to the IAAF's statistics and documentation manager at the following e-mail and let him know that Nazret Woldu is indeed an ERITREAN and not Ethiopian. His e-mail address is as follows;

Eri-International sports 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three Eritrean superstars shine while the Red Sea boys make a come back.

In three large cities 2 in Europe and one in Australia Eritrean soccer players seem to be shining like the bisha gold coming in large quantities these days. Let us start of with veteran Henok Goitom who is having an outstanding season in the Swedish Premier league with AIK Stockholm. He leads the league in scoring along with another player with 13 goals so far as he has been scoring goal after goal in the past few weeks. Henok like wine seems to be getting better with age as he is even now being touted to represent the Swedish National Team which is gearing up for the European cup taking place in 2016. Henok has electrified the fans and has AIK competing at the highest level.

Meanwhile a new comer to the German Bundesliga with Entracht Frankfurt one of the more popular teams in the 5th biggest city in Germany Joel Gerezgiher seems to be comfortable with his play in the pre-season so far scoring a couple of times while also contributing to his team's success. Let us look for this young man as he makes his debut with Frankfurt's A team this season. He has lots of potential and can be another international Eritrean star in the very near future.

In the land down under Gol Gol Mebrhatu is back from a major injury and has made his home in Sydney the largest city in Australia. Gol Gol is playing with the Western Sydney Wanderers and already has registered a goal in his debut with his new team. Gol Gol seems to be 100% ready to start shining in the league down under. If he does not get injured chances are he will be a great player with potential to score lots of goals. See link below.

In Eritrea the national team otherwise known as the Red Sea Boys will be getting ready to face Botswana from the southern Africa region in a home and away match for qualification to the 2018 world cup that will take place in Russia. While the Eritrean premier league has been reformed this time we hope to see players will be chosen from different regions of the country where there is way too much talent. In a recent Jeopardy answer the "RED SEA" boys were featured as an answer from Alex Trebek and the contestant answered the question by saying "Who are the Eritreans?" Games are scheduled for early October startin on the 5th and second game on the 13th. This would be the first round.

With Eritrean cyclists showing the world that Eritrea deserves to be on top during the Tour De France, it is also time for the world cup of cycling taking place in Richmond Virginia as the UCI will hold it's biggest international event starting on September 17th, 2015.

For Eri-International Sports blog.

Mike Seium

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Importance of winning at the Tour De France for Eritrea & Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Winning at the Tour De France for Eritrea & Daniel Teklehaimanot while a Belarusian makes a racist slur at Natnael Berhane in the Tour of Austria.

In an incredible show of pure skill and talent Eritrea's Daniel Teklehaimanot did what no body thought could be done. He ended up the "King of the Mountain". The entire team of MTN were just a part of this win as Daniel was.They allowed him to get in the breakaway and in the process helped the team get some very much needed points. The team was confidence that if he could get in the move and cross the three categorized climbs first, he would be a winner. Winner indeed he was!

In order to understand the stage of the mountain portion of the Tour De France we dug in a little and did some research. At the top of each climb in the Tour, there are points awarded for the riders who are first over the top. The climbs are divided into categories, from 1 to 4 based on their difficulty with 1 being the most difficult, measured as a function of their steepness and length. A fifth category, called Hors categorie (outside category) is formed by mountains even more difficult than those of the number 1 category.

This win is a step in the right direction for African and specifically Eritrean cycling. The sport which is now getting more popular in Africa also saw a similar rise in popularity in Latin America. The country of Colombia who has had 5 wins since the event started in 1947. Mostly western European countries won the titles and the defending winner last year was a Polish who surprised many. No one in the cycling world except ERITREANS would be confident that an Eritrean would be wearing the Polka Dot jersey. It happened today and there is a lot more to come. Meanwhile Daniel so far has a lead of over 4 minutes as the Tour De France continues. 

Meanwhile at the tour of Austria which is going on parallel to the tour de France Team MTN were simultaneously making representations to the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, to have Belarusian rider Branislau Samoilau, of Pro-Continental team CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice, thrown out of the Tour of Austria for alleged racial abuse of their Eritrean champion Natnael Berhane. Samoilau is alleged to have called Berhane a “f------ n-----” during Wednesday's stage. It is understood that he has paid a month’s salary by way of apology to the Qhubeka charity, which aims to mobilise Africans by providing them with bikes.

The UCI has not yet provide  official statement on the incident, but a CCC spokesperson did not deny the allegations. According to some sources Natnael Berhane was told to "Get out of the way, you effing n-----". But little did the other guy know that ERITREANS are not and will never be intimidated by such trashy talk. Natnael who will be the next big start to come out of ERITREA. 

According to his Team report from MTN's website:

"The stage went according to the plan we had. We looked after Natnael all stage and brought him to the final climb in a good position. At 5km to go there were only 18 riders left. CCC Sprandi started attacking and Natnael followed from the 2nd position. Then came the counter attacks. Natnael was very good and I was impressed with how he rode. He is now in the top placing’s of the GC with only a few seconds the difference. This is a good place to be so we are happy with our performance today."

Let us keep watching and support these incredible Eritrean athletes that have shown the world that ERITREA is a nation of proud people. Meanwhile every attempt to use this spotlight to tarnish Eritrea's image will not be accepted. Sports is  humanity and no matter what no one can take away an excellent performance that is of historic proportions from the ERITREAN people.

Eri-International sports

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thank You Zeresenay Tadesse! for your commitment to ERITREA's Martyrs.

Thank You Zeresenay Tadesse! for your commitment to ERITREA's Martyrs.

Isn’t it great when you can do something great for yourself while doing something positive and most of all very memorable? A Running race is the perfect way to merge those passions. In Eritrea running is a fairly new sports compared to cycling and soccer. Thanks to Olympic medalist Zeresenay Tadesse and Eritrean-American Meb Kiflezghi, these days Eritrea seems to be doing pretty good as running has become a growing sport. I have always been an advocate of 10K runs or some type of event in every corner of the world that Eritreans live in during a time when Martyr's day on June 20 takes place each year. It is a great way to commit ourselves to ERITREA's biggest cause while also staying healthy. I wanted to see something like that start in ERITREA and had written about it on this very blog a few years ago. 

It makes me proud that Zeresenay Tadesse the most humble Eritrean runner has got the nation moving and did it during the martyrs day week in ERITREA's capital city Asmara. According to the news media from Eritrea, "Every mosque and church in Eritrea held remembrance and dedication prayers on the morning of June 19. Moreover the morning was glorified by a running event sponsored and organized by the Olympic medalist Zeresenay Tadesse on the eve of June 20, Eritrea’s Martyrs Day.  The event took place in Asmara in two sections. The first road race of 10k started at the Bahti Meskerem Square, for professionals, representing several teams from all over the country. The second segment involved a wide range of voluntary participants of all ages, including ministers and officials." What a great way to bring the country together for a common cause while also helping the sport of running grow, as well as creating a healthy atmosphere for people. It is a well know fact that Zeresenay in the past has also donated and contributed to the martyrs fund. I personally wish to see events like the ones in Eritrea spread all over the world for the future. While it may require some organizing and managing it is similar to when we all gather round to commemorate it anywhere. 

Through a running races we can eventually raise funds for our martyrs families while honoring their sacrifice, which lets us support this important cause close to our hearts. Once again Thank you Zeresenay for starting a running event in ERITREA! not only have you showed that you are the worlds greatest half marathon runner but one of the world's class act people who has always stood by his Government, people and country.

Zelalemawi Zikr' Swatna.

Eri-International sports.

ERITREAN Riders will participate in Tour De France: A historic achievement for Africa.
A wildcard invitation to the Tour De France by South African team MTN-Qhubeka has five African riders on the team. The event which will take place between July 4-26 will include Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus, 21. Natnael Berhane was left out even though the entire Eritrean team did well in their last event. The Tour De France is the top race for cycling since it's start in 1903. Next week on Saturday as most of you watch the event along with fire works for the celebrations of the independence day in the USA, you can see that the passion for Cycling in Eritrea is very high. Congratulations to Both Daniel and Merhawi and hopefully they will perform and compete with some of the veterans who will be very tough. In an interview from last weeks's victory this is what Daniel had to say, "To wear the flag of Eritrea at the Tour de France will be very special and I will try to do everyone proud. "

Meanwhile for those who may have questions about the Tour De France here is some information that may help you become a fan from the get go. There are twenty two teams including the Africans MTN competing in 21 stages. The Hardest stages will more than likely be Everyone will have their personal favourite, but the cobbles between Seraing and Cambrai will turn stage four into a mini Paris-Roubaix. For climbing fans, the 13.8km ascent up the 21 bends of Alpe d'Huez (below) on the penultimate day of the race should be spectacular.

What are the dates of the Tour in 2015?

The 102nd edition of the Tour de France begins in Utretcht, Holland on July 4. The race features 21 stages, plus two rest days, before ending in Paris on July 26.

What is the route?

The Tour begins in Holland - the sixth time the grand départ has been staged in the country - before moving into Belgium and then northern France. The route winds into Brittany before moving to the south-west of France and then across the country to Alpe d'Huez, before the traditional finale on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

There are nine flat stages, three hilly stages, seven mountain stages including five summit finishes, one individual time trial and one team time trial. Total distance of the route is 3,360km.

What do the different shirts mean?

The yellow jersey is worn by the leader of the general individual time classification.
The green jersey is given to the leader of the points classification (won on the intermediate sprints and at the stage).
The red polka dot jersey is worn by the best climber. Points are allocated at the top of any classified slope.
The white jersey is given to the best young rider aged 25 or under in the general individual time classification.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another Eritrean connection in the Big leagues: This time in the National Hockey League.

It was around a year ago when Eritrean's found out that an Eritrean-American from San Diego made it to the NFL after being drafted by the NY Giants. Nat Berhe who has been nursing a calf injury this spring should be ready to play this fall after what should be a great summer training camp. He has every opportunity and the talent to go along with it. Nat Berhe whose father is an Eritrean was the talk of the Eritrean social media and news after the NFL draft last year. 

It seems like another Eritrean Oliver Kylington (pronounced Shylington) has been drafted in the second round by the Calgary Flames of the NHL. So to the Eritrean community in Calgary here is another reason to go cheer the flames in the upcoming season. Oliver whose mother is an ERITREAN grew up in Sweden where his father was a Swede hand ball player. He played competitive soccer as a kid. Born in May 1997 he has grown up to be a very quick athlete on the ice and off the ice. His ability to move fast has earned him a spot on the Swedish club team AIK as well as the under 18 Swedish national team. Even though a defence man he has been able to score goals through his ability to move fast. As a second round draft pick and a player who has a lot of talent he should see some action with the Calgary Flames right away.

Here is the scouting report on Oliver and we wish him the best of luck as he makes a career in the NHL probably the best professional hockey league in the world.

• A two-way defenseman, Kylington split the 2014-15 season between Farjestad of the Swedish Hockey League (2-3—5 in 18 GP) and AIK of Sweden’s second division (4-3—7 in 17 GP). He also suited up for 10 games with Farjestad’s junior team, registering 4-3—7 in 10 appearances. In 2013-14, Kylington became the youngest player to score a goal in SHL history (16 years, 4 months, 10 days) after netting the game-winner in his Farjestad debut.

• Internationally, Kylington has represented Sweden at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He was unable to participate in the 2015 World Junior Championship due to injury.

• Lists Johnny Oduya of the Chicago Blackhawks and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, both fellow blueliners, among his favorite NHL players.

Eri-International sports blog.