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.
For Eri-International sports
For Eri-International sports