Monday, December 21, 2009

Tour of Eritrea: Shining like Gold with Eritrean Colors.

Tour of Eritrea: Shining like Gold with Eritrean Colors.

    Overlooking the escarpments and the natural beauty of Eritrea as well as the tough up hill mountains and down hill flat course the tour of Eritrea has proven it is a top notch sporting competition to be reckoned with. In less than 20 years this cycling event has turned into an internationally recognized event by the international cycling union. A success story that has not even gotten a small coverage by the international media that would rather fabricate and write garbage stories about this young and aspiring nation. 

I must say the excellent coverage by Eritrean Television showed not only the race and its dynamics but also the beauty of the nation. Seeing the Eritrean flags moving at high speeds added so much color and with the athleticism of the cyclists flying in light speeds the view was so mesmerizing. Villages and their populations coming out to support and watch and host cyclists from 7 countries along side of Eritrean Teams A & B was absolutely a joy to watch. National cycling teams from Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia participated in this year’s version of the "Tour Eritrea”. 

Check out the link on for pictures:

As it is cycling is not a very friendly sport for blacks and Africans. As the sport grows, Eritrea is not only contributing to its growth but will soon play a major role by breaking racial barriers. The last time a big name black cyclist won a world champion was many decades ago. In 1899 Major Tyler an American cyclist despite many challenges won the world one-mile track cycling championship after setting numerous world records and overcoming strong racial discrimination. Eritrea as a new and growing African nation is also facing all types of obstacles but will overcome as it has done in the past.

Eritrea has already inspired the next generation of cyclists by creating it’s own event with partnerships from genuine friends. It is not easy to plan, strategize and host an internationally recognized event, however the event was a huge success by any standard. Like it’s nation-building process in every sector of its society the “Tour of Eritrea” is a prime example of what the future holds for the nation of a determined people.

The Tour of Eritrea will host more teams and more fans in the future adding more visitors to the country. Witnesses that will judge for themselves if Eritrea is truly what the amateur journalists say it is. Meanwhile Eritrean national teams kept home the awards from 1st place through 3rd place while the Moroccan and Egyptian teams stood 4th and 5th respectively.

Congratulations to all those who worked hard to make the event successful. 

Tour schedule: Covers some of Eritrea's cities.

For Eri-International sports blog this is Mike Seium

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eritrean National team still intact.

     Immediately following the news of the 12 soccer players that decided to stay in Kenya, my e-mails were flooded with questions as to what happened and my answer is “I don’t know” because I am not in Kenya. What I know however is that those genuine Eritreans who asked the question out of concern for their safety and the well-being of Eritreans did so because it is indeed a legitimate concern. Then came those “VULTURES” as I like to call them. Hungry like a wolf, they started to share their joy adding more misery to their lives, by seeing the negative aspect and the idea of 12 players defecting to a place where the standard of living is no better than Eritrea.

Let’s be real, there is no doubt that these players are looking for a key to the western world and like everyone who thinks the grass is greener in the west, they will find out soon the harsh reality of life as we know it in the west. So, Kenya is being used as a tool because the corruption level there is high and the MULTI BILLION human trafficking industry can easily afford to buy and sell people in a corrupt country. Add to that the support of those who thrive on seeing the strong “NATION OF ERITREA” go down to satisfy their agendas, then it is clear that these 12 players are leaving for purely economic reasons which is not guaranteed anywhere during these economic hardship.

I have on many occasions spoken to other Eritrean players who have defected and they all have said to me that if they had to do it over again they would have stayed and pursued their soccer playing careers in Eritrea. Many of them did not know that once they get to their final destination, their lives would be miserable. Some even admitted to being coerced by organizations working to destabilize the people of Eritrea.

Amazing Media Coverage a clear indication of attacks against ERITREA.

A consorted effort by the media to shape up the psyche of the innocent minds of the outside world clearly indicates that as Eritrea progresses with it’s nation building endeavors, the attacks will continue to the highest and the defection of these players only gives ammunition to those wolves who are ready to see failure.  Meanwhile in Eritrea the TOUR OF ERITREA an internationally approved Cycling event is going well showcasing the beauty of Eritrea and it’s people. Where are the TV networks and the newspapers? How come they are not doing a story about an African nation with the unique Cycling tradition and hosting a regional event that combines participants from the Middle East and East Africa?

It is amazing to see the amount of coverage that this negative story got which clearly shows it is motivated by an agenda. A few years ago three Eritrean cyclists defected during another event and today the biggest Cycling event is being held in Eritrea and Eritreans are becoming top-notch cyclists that will one day compete in an international event.  Life goes on and more athletes will be born and developed.

Because 12 players defected it does not mean the soccer program will come to a halt but many new players will get a chance to prove their ability to compete and perform for the ERITREAN National team.

As a matter of fact I personally have spoken with players from the Diaspora who may be good enough to represent Eritrea. They all admitted that if given a chance it would be an honor to play for their nation. There is no doubt that Eritrea will one day make the African nations cup and even the world cup. And when it does many of these players that defected will look back and reflect. The highest form of recognition as an individual and as athletes is to represent your country. By winning the game against Tanzania the Eritrean national side would have advanced to the semi-finals and possibly to the finals of the CECAFA. Reports were clearly showing that the Eritrean side was one of the more talented squads. When a similar situation happened during another qualifying game in Angola the Red Sea boys struck right back in Asmara after suffering a huge loss, as they tied a world cup contending team to a goalless draw in Asmara.

Don’t let human traffickers fool you, as they don’t have the power to change a sporting nation.  If we look back into history we can see that athletic defection is not a new phenomena but something that has been used for propaganda to weaken the moral of nation. Eritreans certainly will not bow down to these types of attacks.
Everyone and their mother know that. The funny part about this story was as reported by some of those “Scooby doo” news papers and internet articles, “When the plane got to Asmara, only the two coaches were present which ended up being a huge lie.  To all the returning players I say keep your heads up and come back with a stronger squad and make Eritrea proud. You made a very smart choice.

Mike Seium

For Eri-International sports blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eritrea very ugly loss to Tanzania/Hopefully Lessons learned.

    The Red Sea boys lose a very disappointing 4-0 loss to a strong and ready Tanzania team coached by Brazilian Marcio Maximo after holding the Kilimanjaro boys as they are known to a 0-0 tie at half time. Once again the adult national team comes close to a great showing and they are held back by a terrible score. Watching the highlites one would ask the question is this the same Eritrean team that tied Zimbabwe and played a good game against Rwanda and defeated the Somali team? Even the green uniforms looked different as Eritrea is known to wear blue in most cases. One player was able to score a hat trick for Tanzania and while one of the goals he scored was a lucky bounce which was meant to be a cross and ended up in the net, the rest of the goals looked like defensive mishaps.

Click on the highlites

We hope the coaches and technical advisors can learn a tough lesson for the up coming game in March against Rwanda for the qualifying round of the nations cup. Meanwhile on the bright side a lot of these players were brought up from the under 17 team that qualified for the youth championships a couple of years ago. There is no doubt with the recent success of the new under 17 teams and the game growing Eritrea will field a strong team in the very near future.

On the other hand I would like to emphasize what the Brazilian Coach says in his interview below and we hope to learn from his statements. He points out that during the week long tourney he was able to use all of his players sometimes putting in better players on the bench. If one team has 22 great players there is no reason why coaches can’t mix and match them as deemed necessary. The Eritrean side needs to field 22 players that can go in at any given moment and perform to the highest of standards and the strategy should be to use all players through out the week. It can be seen even here in the US during the one week long ERSFNA that most teams try to keep their main players for the entire week causing fatigue. Even the best players in the world need to get rest after a game.

Click on the interviews,

Mean while we hope that the Red Sea boys will pick their heads up and come back stronger than ever. 

Eri-International sports would also like to thank everyone for the support. We will continue to update you on the happenings of Eritrea and international sports related stories.


Mike Seium for Eri-Inetrnational sports blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eritrea in quarterfinals/World Cup Fever/An Eritrean soccer legend speaks.

     In what was a very simple game for the Red Sea boys the Eritrean side defeated the Somali Ocean boys, as they are known by the score of 3-1 in Nairobi today. The Red Sea boys will make the quarterfinals and face Tanzania on Tuesday. Congratulations to Coach Negash Teklit and the entire national team for advancing to the next round. It is to be remembered that the Red Sea youth (under 17) team made it to the finals a couple of months ago and we hope the adult team will win the 33rd edition of the Orange CECAFA tourney.

There is no doubt in the minds of Eritreans that the Eritrean national soccer team will one day make the African nations cup and the World Cup as a participant. The game is so loved by the people of Eritrea, that during a recent trip to Asmara the world cup trophy got such a huge welcome and an awesome Eritrean hospitality. It is just a matter of time before the Red Sea boys will make their way to one of these big events. Like everything else in Eritrea the development of the game and athletics in general has seen a huge leap in a very short period of time.

Meanwhile the world cup draw took place yesterday in South Africa. Ivory Coast with one of the best players in the world and Ghana seem to be the strong favorites from the African continent while South Africa as a host may also be a good candidate along side of traditional powerhouse Cameroon. Algeria with an easier group and Nigeria are the other African sides.

Eri-TV recently conducted an interview with Eritrean super star Italo Vassalo who alongside of his older brother Lucciano represented the Ethiopian national team along side of 8 other Eritreans in the 1962 African nations cup. You might as well say that Eritrea won the cup even though the glory goes to Ethiopia. Italo in a two part series spoke to the Amharic program of Eri-TV and expressed his passion for the game and that he has no ill will towards the Ethiopian people despite his deportation from Ethiopia by the current regime in Addis.

The 1962 African Cup of nations champions with 9 Eritreans including the Vassalo brother.

In other soccer news related to Eritrea we will fill you in on the progress of Henok Goitom. There is word that the quarter finals of the CECAFA games will be televised and if we get any information here at Eri-International sports we will feel you in, until then enjoy this clip of the Eritrean national team taking on the Zimbabwe team which ended in a 0-0 tie on Day 4 of the Cecafa tourney that was played last week. Check out the link and enjoy!

For Eri-International sports blog

This is Mike Seium

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eritrea can't seem to find a way to beat Rwanda.

     Eritrea's Red Sea boys took a 2-1 loss to Rwanda in today’s Group B match of the Orange CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup that took place in Nairobi. For some odd reason the Eritrean national team can't find a way to beat Rwanda in soccer. Today's loss marks the 6th time in a row that Eritrea has lost to Rwanda. Even as they were able to contain a very strong Zimbabwe team to a 0-0 draw that they played well in there is just something about Rwanda that seems to be getting in the way. 

                                           Eritrean national adult team from 2008

The good news is the Red Sea Boys can still qualify for the quarter finals if they beat a fairly decent Somalia team that only lost 1-0 to Rwanda. Eritrea is going to play Somalia in Nairobi on Saturday. Eritrea must get a victory over Somalia to qualify for the quarter finals as the top two teams in the three groups qualify automatically while the two best third place teams out of the remaining six teams also gain a spot for the quarter finals. If Eritrea wins it's chances of getting in will almost be sure. 

As far as Rwanda they qualify by virtue of earning 6 points while Zimbabwe will also earn a spot if they beat Rwanda. If Rwanda beats Zimbabwe and Eritrea scores more than two goals against Somalia then Eritrea can go in as a second place qualifier. We hope the Red Sea Boys and coach Negash Teklit will find a way to beat Rwanda in the future as Eritrea has to play them again for the qualifying round of the African Nations Cup taking place in Angola in 2010. 

Good luck to the Red Sea boys against Somalia and in the quarter finals when they make it.

Mike Seium

For Eri-International sports

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Soccer, Soccer & more Soccer Eritrean style

     The Red Sea Boys not the young under 17 Red Sea boys who just got done playing in the CECAFA Youth Cup championships a couple of months ago, but the big boys the Eritrean National Soccer team is participating in the CECAFA Senior Challenge cup taking place in Kenya. They have shown that they are capable of playing well as indicated in their first game of the event. They held a strong Zimbabwe team to tie in their first game of this year's version of the senior challenge cup played at Nairobi Stadium.

Eritrea and Zimbabwe drew 0-0 in their Group “B” standing. Zimbabwe is no joking matter as they are the champions of their version of regional event (COSAFA) for Southern African countries which includes Zambia, South Africa and other strong teams. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe were invited as guests for this year’s Central and East African Challenge cup (CECAFA)

Zimbabwe beat Zambia 3-1 last month to win the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup a tournament similar to CECAFA for the Southern African regional teams. The second guest side Zambia also from the southern region has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations 2010 in Angola after earning a 0-0 draw against Rwanda on Saturday. Zambia is no walk over either as they just defeated Asian world cup participant North Korea by the score of 4-1 in a friendly game this past weekend.

This marks the 33rd of the Council for East Africa and Central Africa Football Association tournament taking place at the National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya. Eritrea is joined by Somalia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe in Group B and will face Rwanda in the next match on Thursday; December 3rd. Eri-International sports will keep you updated with results from the CECAFA challenge cup.

In other news Eritrea will be playing their next game opponent Rwanda in March 2010 at home and away in the first round qualifying match of the 2010 African nations cup that will be held in Angola. Meanwhile Eritrean-Swede Henok Goitom has made his come back as he played his first game of the season for La Liga side Almeria in a loss to atletico Bilbao this past weekend. We will have more on Henok as new developments happen.

In other news from the land down under, we leave you with a nice short video highlight of another Eritrean born soccer player with a very fitting name Gol Gol Mebrahtu, who is playing in the Australian first division for Gold Coast United. His skills can be seen as he set up a Penalty kick by taking on two players and passing to his teammate that was fouled in the Penalty box.

In other local news members of Eritrean community soccer teams Baltimore, Team DC & Team Alexandria joined in hands to play in an indoor soccer tournament at PGCC (Prince Georges Community College) a national championship contender in Junior college soccer. Playing against other strong teams the Eritrean team made it to the semifinals showing some beautiful display of soccer. All of the 8 players of which 7 are available to attend college have left big impressions on the coaches.  Eri-International sports has also reported on another young Eritrean-American who had a great season at College of Southern Maryland. Please read previous article on this blog titled "Meet Mulugheta Asihel: Up and coming College soccer star."

 Members of Eritrean teams from the DC metro area who participated at the PGCC international tourney.

Good luck to the Red Sea boys as they have a huge challenge ahead of them but they seem to have started off very well. 

For now this is Mike Seium for Eri-international sports blog.