Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At The End "Victory" is Eritrea's.

     To quote the great song by legendary Tesfai Mehari "Awet Qalsina Bdemna" The struggle to develop our nation be it in sports, education, health, food security and diplomacy continues to be at the forefront of the growing process our nation. A clear indication was when in a short turn around the 5th ever CECAFA under 20 event was hosted for the first time ever in Eritrea very successfully.  All the way from the opening ceremony until the very moment when the Ugandans took the big prize away from Eritrea it was full of action and sportsmanship. At the end of the event "Victory" is still Eritrea's.

     Witnessing the finalists the Cranes of Uganda accepting their awards during the ceremony one picture that can be a vivid reminder in the memory of thousands of fans and television audiences was when the youngsters from Uganda draped the ever beautiful Eritrean Flag around them in show of their admiration for a nation that prides itself as peaceful, friendly and one that works hard. The nation of Eritrea showed it's "determination and sophistication" by hosting a successful championship  is how a leading East African news paper put it. While many fans and Eritrean soccer enthusiasts feel that the Eritrean Red Sea Camels should have put the game away during the regular time, the most electrifying moment of the game came in extra time. Eritrea was down 1-0 by a mistaken own goal and with the clock ticking away and less than 30 seconds remaining in the game the boys from Eritrea put the ball in the back of the net sending the jam packed entire stadium into an euphoria that has never been witnessed before. Then came the dreading penalty kicks to decide who will be champions. It was Eritrea 4 and Uganda 5 as the Red Sea Camels exciting run came to an end.

     Despite the loss on the field however Eritrea and it's people should be proud of an accomplishment that was top notch. Once again Eritrea proved that it is a nation to be reckoned with. It showed that it is an oasis of hope, prosperity and development. The Eritrean spirit of can do continues and the Red Sea Camels did not disappoint us either. On the field and off the field Eritrea shined. Eri-International sports will recommend ideas below and those interested can discuss it share it and share their ideas on how best to help improve the national team or any other ideas that can enhance future events that Eritrea will be hosting.


1. While we are proud of our under 20 team which will soon be our national team why not get a couple of players from outside the country that may be able to add some strength up front. One thing Eritrea lacked was scoring and by adding a couple of forwards who have the ability to perform at a high level, the Eritrean team can benefit even more. I don't know what the Swedish national team has in store for the great Eritrean scoring machine Henok Goitom but if they give him the run around, I don't see why he can't play for Eritrea as he can have dual citizenship. By adding Henok and a couple of the older players from the adult team and using a nucleus of the under 20 team, Eritrea can have a great opportunity to make it to the 2014 African nations cup and qualifying round to the world cup as it has withdrew for the 2012 African nations cup.

2. While I am strongly aware of the manpower that requires to cover a sporting event ERI-TV did a great job with what they have. Analysis of games were excellent but update of scores would have fans all over the world tuned in. Even a scroll with a little graphics would be helpful at the end of each game. May be outsourcing the media coverage and reaping the benefits via commercials and sponsors could be one way of doing it. You can have ERI-TV lead the logistics so that it maintains it's authentic Eritrean flavor.  

3. I think an international tournament of Eritrean Diaspora from Europe, Middle east, USA, Canada and Asia & Oceania countries can be held in Eritrea. It can give an opportunity for players to show their ability and in the process be selected to the national team if they have what it takes.

4. The ENFF (Eritrean National Football Federation) must market itself more. Eritrean national team jersey's would sell like a hot potato. Other items that bring fans and the team together can also be ready made for sale and the ENFF has to have copyrights and in the process create an opportunity for regular income.

5. The Eritrean national team must continue to play friendly games. Uganda and Kenya have travelled to Europe and other African nations to play friendly and Eritrea has also proven that it can host games. Why not have some top notch clubs from around the world come and play against the national teams while also preparing games that can be exciting between two top teams.

6. A training center must be built and until then, the Eritrean teams (U-17, U-20, & the adult teams including women) should use the good facilities of other friendly nations to train. Like the under 17 team that went to Qatar three years ago to train and play the Qatari under 17 which our boys won 2-0.

     As an avid follower of the game of soccer and a sports journalist for many years who also happened to follow the Eritrean national team in particular since it's first appearance in the CECAFA tournament in 1994 when coach Negash Teklit was a player, I have to say that it gives me great pride to know that the future is bright for Eritrea. I am working on a project that would be of interest to all Eritreans. We must document and understand our past history in order to march forward and let our new generation know that this country of ours has so much history with the beautiful game of soccer.  Congratulations to the entire ENFF, ERI-TV, The Eritrean Government, CECAFA and Africa for a great regional event that has brought Friendship and development, love and togetherness to the entire region. I also would like to congratulate the Eritrean national team for making us proud. It was great to see you all get rewarded by the Eritrean President for your efforts.

Eri-International sports will post an interview with Golgol Meberhatu on our next blog. As most of you know Golgol plays for the Australian A-League and he started his season with "God Coast United" against the "Melbourne Victory" where his team lost 1-0 this weekend but the great news is that Golgol got a lot of playing time in his first start after an injury last year and also making the move to A-League from the youth league. Meanwhile Henok Goitom's Almeria also started their La liga season this past week. Henok did not see action but his team tied their first game 0-0 against Osasuna. We shall follow the developments throughout the season and keep you informed. After all is said and done the "Victory is Eritrea's" so enjoy it cherish it and stay tuned.

For Eri-International Sports blog

Mike Seium

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Championship would be sweet for Eritrea: Uganda vs Eritrea Round 2

     It was about a year ago when most of us Eritreans got a little disappointed that our Red sea Camels under 17 team lost to the Cranes of Uganda by the score of 2-0 in the finals of the CECAFA under 17 championship that took place in Sudan. Eritrea performed well and beat the home team Sudan convincingly after beating Zanzibar and drawing with Burundi and Rwanda respectively. The Under 17 boys made us all proud even though they lost in the championship game.

                                     Eritrea in the semifinals against Rwanda 

On Saturday August 28th, 2010 in front of the home crowd the Eritrean under 20 team has a chance to put an exclamation mark on what has been an outstanding journey of friendship and development and peace for the entire central and east Africa region. By defeating a strong Uganda team Eritrea will show that it has the potential to be a shining star not only as a host but also as a strong contender of the most beautiful game.

Eri-International sports in last week’s blog wrote, Eri-International sports predicts that Eritrea will get back it's scoring form and will make the semi finals and will advance for the championship game against Uganda.”

It was a prediction based on the idea that our boys from Eritrea would score more goals as their offense had been knocking on the door of their opponents for the entire event. However the home team has been doing the job defensively and getting enough goals to get through. Eritrea has been doing it defensively putting the term “The best offense is a good defense” in order, while Uganda has been scoring enough goals and comes to the finals as the only team not to lose a single game. It will be a severe test for the Eritrean national team as the Ugandans were predicted a clear favorite.
The Cranes as they are known by their nick name are also the defending champions, but what will make it a sweet victory for Eritrea is to be able to get a win for the entire nation which has been waiting for a moment like this for a while. Despite not putting the ball in the back of the net, the Eritrean team has been getting wins and hopefully they have saved their best for last. The making of a celebration is there as they face a defending champion that has not lost a single game in the Cecafa under 20 tourney, and also a nation that beat Eritrea in the under 17 version last year. With the home field advantage this will surely be a historic day in Eritrea.

I hope the Red sea boys will do it for our past heroes of the game and coaches like the legendary Gedil and the many who have contributed to the sport in Eritrea while also thinking of our Martyrs who have sacrificed so that we can play as a nation. Eri-International sports predict a one goal differential victory for Eritrea.

Good luck to our Red sea Camels and on the next blog please look for an exclusive interview with Golgol Mebrehatu of the Australian A-League. We will also have a report on the sports portion of the 2010 Eritrean Festival that took place in Washington D.C

For Eri-Intrenational sports blog

Mike Seium

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda final four of Cecafa under 20 version of 2010.

     Host Eritrea will play rival Kenya today to see who will end up being GROUP A leader. Both Teams have qualified to the semi-finals. While Kenya has shown it's scoring power against Somalia, Eritrea seems to get the wins through defense and possession of ball. Mean while Uganda the defending champs have advanced to the final four along with Rwanda which got a second life after Zanzibar was caught when it illegally used an over age player. Monday's game between Eritrea and Kenya will be a deciding game to see who will play Uganda or Rwanda as both teams have already advanced to the next round. Eritrea must win and the game against Kenya will be a test if they can handle a tough challenge. 

We will pick up from Friday's scores from Group B as Rwanda defeated Yemen by the score of 1-0 to advance as a second place team after Zanzibar lost to Uganda 3-1. Rwanda should be commended as the team is composed of it's under 17 squad that will be playing in the African under 17 nations cup which Rwanda will host in January of 2011.

In Group A Tanzania got a whooping 3-1 by Kenya as Kenya leads the group with more goals than Eritrea even though they are both tied with 7 points. If Eritrea wins it will have 10 points and will be seeded number 1 in Group A setting up a semifinal against Rwanda and if Eritrea loses it will play against Uganda which has been playing some excellent soccer.

Good luck to the Red Sea boys, Meanwhile Eri-International sports blog will have an exclusive interview with Eritrean-Australian youngster and up and coming star GOLGOL Mebrhatu all the way from the land down under. Eri-international sports will also have a round up of the Eritrean sports festival and more very soon.

Stay Tuned this week in what could be a historical moment in Eritrean soccer.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mid Way Update CECAFA under 20: Eritrea must score goals, Uganda looking tough.

     In what has been a very exciting week for Eritrea as a host nation, it is now time to reflect on the under 20 Red Sea boys and how they have been faring so far after two games. In their game against Tanzania they played an attacking style and missed many golden opportunities until they converted a Penalty kick. A win is a win and they went on to defeat a pretty solid Tanzanian team by one goal to none. Meanwhile Eritrea's group A partners have all had a dismal showing early on and what we will do is break down each team's chances, wins and loses. We start of with the home team and GROUP A:

Eritrea: Has beaten Tanzania and drew with Sudan earning four points so far. Eritrea will play Somalia on Saturday August 21st, 2010 and Kenya on Monday August 23rd, 2010. While Eritrea has a great chance to defeat Somalia, it can also beat Kenya and stay at the top of group A.

                                                      Eritrea vs Tanzania as the Red Sea boys wins 1-0 on opening day.

Kenya: Also have 4 points but lots of goals. Drew with Sudan in it's first game and defeated Somalia in a very strong way by beating them 6-0. Kenya as of this point are leaders in group A but they have remaining games against Tanzania on Saturday August 21st, 2010 and Eritrea on Monday August 23rd, 2010.

Sudan: Drew all of their games as they they have three points. They tied Somalia 0-0 and Kenya 2-2 and Eritrea 1-1. They are not to be taken lightly as they can get 7 points if they beat Tanzania and squeak in as the second team from Group A.

Tanzania: Lost to Eritrea and have one point so far from a draw against Somalia. They will be playing Kenya on Saturday August 21st, 2010 after the Eritrea Somalia game. Tanzania will fight to get in as a second place team if they defeat Kenya and considering Eritrea wins it's games against Somalia.

Somalia: Still had a chance until they gave up lot's of goals against Kenya. The Somalians can play spoilers by beating Eritrea on Saturday. The Eritrean Red Sea boys must score and win if they are to advance.

As far as Group B is concerned Uganda and Zanzibar seem to be the tough teams while Yemen as a guest and Rwanda have very minimal chances of advancing. Let us look at this four team Group and we start of with the Cranes of Uganda from GROUP B:

Uganda: Have six points and lead  group B. They won both their games against Rwanda 3-1 and Yemen 3-2. They will still play Zanzibar on Friday August 20th, 2010.

Zanzibar: Beat a decent Yemen team 2-1 and drew against Rwanda earning four points so far and maintaining as a second place team. They will be playing Uganda to see if they can earn three points and take the lead in Group B while Uganda will advance as a second place team.

Rwanda: Only has one point as they lost to Uganda and drew with Zanzibar. Their chances of advancing is slim to none but can play for their jersey as they take on a Yemen on Friday August 20th, 2010.

Yemen: Coming in as a replacement for Burundi, Yemen has displayed great skills and their chances are finished but they showed that they have a great future and will be a tough team to contend with in their region.

This pretty much sums up the results and breakdown of the CECAFA under 20 tournament and for more information as well as up to date news follow ERI-TV and ERI-International Sports blog. In order for the Eritrea to claim victory they must score. Hopefully coach Negash Teklit has some secrets for the next couple of games and Eritrea will have to dominate the front lines and prove that it is a strong team. Eri-International sports predicts that Eritrea will get back it's scoring form and will make the semi finals and will advance for the championship game against Uganda. It may be a pre-mature prediction but the possibilities are very good. However Eritrea must have a strong showing against Somalia and Kenya.

For Eri-International Sports
Mike Seium

Monday, August 16, 2010

Best Moments of opening day: 2010 CECAFA under 20 in Asmara, Eritrea.

     For the first time ever "independent Eritrea" hosted what will be a future trend in this unique country that continues to fight it's wars through peaceful means that seems to be taking up the horn of Africa by storm. As most everyone saw on Saturday August 14th, 2010 the nation of Eritrea was in it's best form as the opening ceremony took place in the heart of the capital at Asmara stadium. Overlooking a mix of dark and bright skies, the colorful celebrations before the first game of the tournament took place attracted thousands of fans along with guests, athletes & performers who were absolutely just stunning. The true meaning of "FRIENDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT" was displayed in high fashion. The country once again showed why it is a place of tranquility and an oasis of hope and prosperity. Why were the western media not there?  But again it is nothing new and at the end of the day, Eritrea will have built it's grass roots and authentic relationship with it's neighbours in the region. Eri-International sports will attempt to list the best moments of the opening day ceremony below. 

1. ERITREA: The simple fact that this event was hosted by Eritrea is a historical moment for the nation and deserves the top slot. Eritrea has been praised by all participants, CECAFA officials and journalists. 

2. Opening ceremony: The Entire performance was excellent but what attracted us most was the stadium stands displaying logos, messages, flags of every country and the timing that came along with it. While most others throughout the world spend millions of dollars to make that type of display electronically and with new gadgets, in Eritrea it is done manually but with elegance and perfect timing. The end result on Television or if you are sitting on the opposite side of the stadium is a sheer display of art that can only make you say WOW! Just watch the link below.


3. Eritrean singers: The songs that were produced for this occasion were very nice. Taniqo's song about sports in general and the inclusion of women and the advise not to drink bottles of whiskey if you are an athlete is a song that we hope rings in the minds of our athletes throughout Eritrea. The song "Shikamo Africa" which pretty much says it all that in order for friendship and development to take place, the countries of the horn, central and east Africa must unite. The diaspora singers (Eriartista) were all amazing adding more flair while the traditional songs from Eritrea's different tribes make the nation proud.

4. Eritrean youngsters: The little boy and girl Eritrean youngsters clearly indicated that the future is bright for Eritrea. They showed poise and talent as they continued to juggle the ball with ease displaying their skills, meanwhile it was a pleasure to see the young Eritrean team that had just come back from Norway where they proved that they are capable of being on the future under 17, under 20 and national teams.

5. Eritrean national under 20 team: These young Red Sea boyz from the get go showed their ability to manage the pace of the game. Their continued attacks against a strong team from Tanzania was a shocker to the Tanzanian national team. Eritrea dominated most of the game despite a slow second half. In the end the Eritrean Red Sea Boys showed their ability to win as they did during their run in the under 17 qualifying round that took them to the under 17 African nations cup in Lome, Togo. The Penalty kick was shot in the very corner of the goal and the Tanzanian goal keeper knew where to dive but Abraham Tedros had way too much power on it giving Eritrea a lead and the win. Eritrea will face Sudan next and Somalia on Saturday. Both teams played to a 0-0 tie which helps Eritrea in the points category.

     These were just some of the best moments of the opening day of the CECAFA under 20 championships. What makes it even sweeter for Eritrea is the fact that it lost to Tanzania in the semi finals of the CECAFA 2009 adult version of the tournament that took place in Kenya. Immediately following that game half of the Eritrean team decided to seek a different route but the media vultures were all over the place promoting and attacking the people and government of Eritrea. Where are they now? I guess it is not important to cover such an event. It is also to be noted that Eritrea will also be hosting the CECAFA women's tournament next year in April 2011. Eri-International along with Eri-TV and other media outlets will continue to keep you posted on the occasion of this historic event for Eritrea in particular and East and Central Africa in general. It is to be noted that Ethiopia, Djibouti and Burundi were not able to make it. While Burundi had a good excuse and was replaced by Yemen, no one seems to understand why the other two would not be a part of such a SPECTACULAR event.

Mike Seium

For Eri-International sports

Friday, August 13, 2010

Let the games Begin: Show them how it's done Eritrea

     A very historical moment in Eritrea's history will be taking place on August 14th, 2010 as the nation embraces eight other African nations and the brotherly nation of Yemen which ended up replacing Burundi at the last minute to the FRIENDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT CECAFA under 20 tournament. Already CECAFA president Nicholas Musonye has praised the government, soccer federation and people of Eritrea for their hospitality. According to reports tickets have sold out and the games are slated to begin with an opening ceremony at Asmara Stadium which will be carried on ERI-TV starting at 7:30 AM EAST COAST Time which makes it 14:30 military Local time or (2:30 in the afternoon) Eritrea time.  

     Coach Negash Teklit along with former teammates Alemseged Ephraim and Berhane Araia (Bretta) who all played in the first ever CECAFA adult tournament in 1994 will be coaching the Red Sea Boys under 20. The under 20 team is mostly composed of the under 17 team that made history by traveling to Togo for the African nations cup three years ago. Meanwhile the Tanzanian team that Eritrea will be facing in the opening game is well trained and the government of Tanzania and the soccer federation of the country have been building a strong program by hiring Brazilian coaches and taking on the Brazilian National team. The first game will be a tough one for Eritrea. However Eritrea will also be able to set the tone for the entire tournament.

     As far as the facilities two Asmara stadiums are ready to accommodate a two week long tournament as they both have been renovated in a partnership redevelopment program with FIFA. The last time Asmara stadium hosted a huge event was before independence when portions of the 1968 African nations cup were played there and when some of the CECAFA adult championships were played there in 1987. However what makes this event unique is it is authentically Eritrean as the entire country is awaiting to show the world that Eritrea as a nation is developing in every sector including sports with out any one's assistance.

     Eri-International sports is proud to say that "it is about time" that the renaissance of Eritrean soccer is beginning to take place and with support from the entire Eritrean people in every corner of the world the national team will soon make it to the African nations cup and further. For the entire schedule of the tournament see below. Eri-International sports will keep you update on new developments meanwhile just follow ERI-TV for the latest news, scores and more.

See link below for complete schedule of games and groups below,


                            Fixture Table

Group A                 Group B                                              
Eritrea                    Uganda
Tanzania                Rwanda
Somalia                  Yemen
Sudan                     Zanzibar

Congratulations to the people and nation of Eritrea. 
from Eri-International sports blog.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sports filled summer: Eritrea hosting Cecafa under 20 in August & More sports news.

     Like everything else happening in Eritrea's development, the young country is on the verge of becoming a sporting nation that will leave it's mark in the international arena. During this summer of the world cup as we saw Spain claiming a world championship, it serves as an inspiration for many nations that it is possible to make it BIG if hard work and support from an entire country is a driving force behind every win. It is with this in mind that I would like to congratulate the State of Eritrea for hosting the 2010 edition of CECAFA under 20 championships starting on August 14th, 2010.
     What makes it even unique is other CECAFA tournaments have in recent years taken the names of the individuals as their sponsor names. For example, the Al Amoudi Cup, The Kagame Cup and more. The tournament being held in Eritrea for the first time in an independent Eritrea has been dubbed the FRIENDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT CUP which is a clear indication that Eritrea has a vision of peace, unity, and love among the nations of Africa in general and East, horn and central Africa in particular. Hopefully the host team will keep the cup home. However most importantly, the reception that teams get from the government, people and the country itself will be unparalleled. The government which is sponsoring this event has also invited the media of each nation to come along for the ride. It does not get any better than that. This is a clear indication that the nation of Eritrea is heading in the right direction in developing it's sports programs. Congratulations to Eritrea for hosting it's first ever soccer tournament.

Eritrean Internationlas:

     Henok Goitom who will be back with Alemria is having a very successful pre-season as he seems to be in top form. The season for the Spanish first division team (LA LIGA) will begin on August 29th, 2010. Meanwhile in Australia an Eritrean Australian Gol Gol Mebrehatu has been doing well playing in the A-League, the top league in the WORLD CUP contending country known as the socceroos. There is even a possibility of young Gol Gol playing for the Australians on their Olympic squad at the next Olympics in London 2012.


     After the rumors of Thomas Kelati signing a one year gig with the world champions the Los Angeles Lakers died down, it was learned that the Eritrean-American-Polish has finally made his home in Russia as he signed a two year contract worth 2 million a year with the Russian team BC Khimki Moscow which also plays in the Euro league where Thomas helped his Valencia squad win it's last championship.

Cycling and Running,

Daniel Teclehaimanot the top Eritrean Cyclist has been training in Europe and while there are rumors that he has signed with Cerevalo and top notch Cycling club, there is no doubt that he is geared to have a great season. Mean while Meb Kiflezghi has been taking care of his leg in order to get ready for the New York Marathon taking place in November. Zeresenay Tadesse on the other hand has been shining as he won the Castelbueno race that took place in Sicily two weeks ago.


     While it has been a very successful summer for most Eritrean born athletes we are also anticipating the college soccer season where there will be a few Eritreans playing this season. We will keep you updated on all the sports activities throughout the world and also share with you stories that you may never heard about.
Hope to see the Eritrean under twenty team which are composed of the mighty history making under 17 team of three years ago, playing in their home turf.

Thanks to the FRIENDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT CECAFA tournament taking place in Eritrea.

Mike Seium
For Eri-internationalsports.blogspot.com/