Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eritrea: World Cup soccer Qualifying Starts and it must be taken seriously.

     The importance of the game of soccer for most nations is one of a serious matter. Even though we don't expect Eritrea to make it to the world cup in the very near future, I want to be proven wrong as the qualifying round for the 2014 world cup in Brazil starts this week in Asmara for the Red Sea Camels. Our soccer players have been in the headlines for political reasons and unnecessary propaganda that has caused so much grief to Eritreans in general. The only two players from the last defecting group of players who have made their way to the land down under where Eritrean player Gol Gol Mebrehatu has been playing in are still in the process of getting acclimated to the much bigger league than the Eritrean first division. In any case my point is if our soccer players in Eritrea get the proper education and understanding that by leaving their national team they gain nothing and their lives may even be worse. They would benefit more if they stayed and represented their flag and in the process make headlines like they did during the CECAFA cup. Starting out small and moving up to competing against some of the best in Africa is in my opinion a better option than leaving and defecting to only become an embarassment to the very country that gives them an opportunity to shine on the soccer field. As the results have indicated so far other than the few handful players who may have gotten opportunities to play in few places, many players have not been able to make college teams here in the USA despite their ability to perform at high levels. Why? Because mentally they are not ready and the way of life here or anywhere else for an Eritrean athlete is not what they expected when they decided to leave.

      "I regret what I have done" said one unnamed player when he realized that what he expected here was totally worse than what he had back in Eritrea. He went on to add, " I can't even play one day of the week since I have been here, I am working around the clock for very low wages which end up paying my bills, after I send a little money to help my family back home" He added. I am writing this after a long time because I am one of those strong believers that Eritrea can shine as a soccer country. It has a rich tradition and many players have paid a huge price in order for our country to wave it's flag. I hope and pray that we don't become the laughing stock of the world. It begins at home where our athletes must be nurtured but must commit themselves to higher standards.
     During this week where the African Cycling championships are taking place, I ask our national soccer team to pay a close attention and see how beautiful it is to represent Eritrea and also shine in the international sports arena. I think our national soccer team can do the same. Just look no further than our runners including Zeresenay Tadese who has become a legend throughout the world. You the soccer players can do the same. Stay strong and let's try to surprise the world this week as Eritrea takes on Rwanda in Asmara with the sporting atmosphere strong during the African cycling championships celebrations in Asmara. On Friday November 11th, 2011 in Asmara's Ciciero stadium Rwanda will take on Eritrea. The second leg of the game will be played in Kigali on November 15th, 2011. The winner will join a tough group H over two legs between the three remaining countries of Algeria, Benin and Mali. While getting to the next round may be difficult, I strongly believe that Eritrea plays strong at home and if the strategy of holding these teams to very close game away becomes a system the Red Sea camels might have a small window of opportunity to make some head lines, YES! positive headlines.

Let's go get them and I think the entire country and diaspora should rally around them win or lose.

Mike Seium
for Eri-Internationalsports blog

1 comment:

Thomas said...

I am a big big fan of football, i am in love with this game and i think this a part of life which you have gone through.

thanks and regards.