Thursday, December 17, 2015

King of the mountain at Tour De France is King of African Cycling for 2015.

King of the mountain at Tour De France is King of African Cycling for 2015.

Only a few people have the ability to make history in sports events. These are people who work hard and dedicate themselves to winning and being successful. In 2015 Eritrea and it's athletes have done wonders and like many other nations, Eritrea's emergence in sports in general and cycling in particular has turned some heads all over the globe. A nation whose love for cycling goes way back in the 1920s & 30's has shown the world that while it may be located in Africa, its cyclists are top notch.

                                Daniel participating and making history at the Tour De France 2015.
     This year in a very deserving moment our rider from Eritrea has become the first African to earn one of the coveted jerseys in the Tour de France — the grueling three-week contest that has traditionally been dominated by European and American riders. Daniel claimed the polka-dot jersey for top climber at the Tour de France's Stage 6 this past summer. It is also to be recalled that Danny & Merhawi Kudus are the first black Africans to ride in pro cycling's most prestigious race.

Daniel Teklehaimanot was elected African Cyclist of the Year 2015 by a jury made up of African and European specialists and chaired by Bernard Hinault a former cyclist who won the Tour de France five times & consults the Tour De France. Daniel, the best climber of the Critérium du Dauphiné and bearer of the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France, beat his South African teammate Louis Meintjes, who took 10th place in the Vuelta and Tunisian Rafaa Chtioui
(Skydive Dubai), winner of the Tropical Amissa Bongo in Gabon.

In the competition for this year's Best African Cyclist award were three other Eritreans including Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane & Mekseb Debesay who all had a great year. Eritrean fans were treated to some spectacular cycling in Europe, Africa & the USA where hundreds of fans gathered in Richmond, VA during the UCI championships that took place in September 2015.

Eritrean Riders participate everywhere!

                                            Eritrean fans making a strong presence in Richmond, VA

Congratulations to all Eritreans and Daniel and the entire Eritrean cycling federation and the nation of Eritrea who continues to shine in sports and other sectors that will make it a country to be reckoned with.

For Eri-International Sports

Mike Seium

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eritrean-American female runner from Virginia wins national title in San Diego.

Eritrean-American female runner from Virginia wins national title in San Diego.

Eritrean-American high school standout and a great future prospect, Weini Kelati of Leesburg, Va. captured a first place title at the 37th Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) National Finals at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., this week. Kelati won in a time of 17:10 in San Diego, home of another Eritrean-American legend Meb Kiflezghi. This is a great achievement for Kelati who has been working hard to get to this point.

                                 Weini taking off to win a national title! Congratulations!

In this national event, another Eritrean-American Futsum Zienaslassie a current stand out at Northern Arizona University was a second place runner up in 2011.In this year's girls' race, Kelati, a two-time FLCCC national qualifier, took an early lead, cruising to a mile split of 5:13. Maryjeanne Gilbert (Peoria, Ill.) closed the gap and took a brief lead prior to the race's midway point. Kelati reclaimed the lead quickly while Nevada Mareno (Leesville, N.C.) and Judy Pendergast (Naperville, Ill.) joined the lead pair. Kelati and Gilbert pulled away in the final stretch with Gilbert finishing second (17:11), Mareno in third (17:18) and Pendergast in fourth (17:20).

                                  Weini and the male Champion! holding their award.

A little bit about the FLCCC (Foot Locker Cross Country Championships).
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Bronx, N.Y.), South (Charlotte, N.C.)and West (Walnut, Calif.), culminating in the National Finals here today.

Weini is a star in the making and don't be surprised if you hear her name in the very near future doing big things. Congratulations to Weini and her team. It is to be recalled that Eri-International sports blog did a small piece on Weini earlier this year.

For Eri-International sports.

Mike Seium

Thursday, November 12, 2015

CECAFA in ETHIOPIA: Why Eritrea does not attend the truth to the matter.

It is so disgusting to see certain media outlets and news services like AP so obsessed with why ERITREA is not attending the 2015 CECAFA (Central & Eastern Confederation of African Football) tournament being held in Ethiopia. Al Jazeera's football section and Fox sports both opposite side of the American political arena when it comes to politics write;

"Ethiopia bars Eritrea from African football tournament"

"Host Ethiopia won't allow Eritrea at East African tournament"

Has it ever occurred to them that ETHIOPIA is currently still occupying sovereign ERITREAN territories? Are they that crazy to think that ERITREA even if its players were to leave would send its team into Ethiopian territory with a regime in place that has abused the power of its own people and still occupies an internationally arbitrated border town? Even a little kid would not entertain that idea. It is clear that the articles that have been written were based on false information from Nicholas Musonye, secretary-general of the Council for East and Central African Football Associations who then spoke to quick to the tabloidish newspapers coming out of east Africa. 

Let us make one thing clear The RED SEA BOYZ of Eritrea would not go to Ethiopia to play any sports unless of course Ethiopia leaves ERITREAN territories. Ambassador Girma Asmerom a former soccer player himself and current Eritrean ambassador to the UN said in January of 2013 during a UN meeting, 

if Ethiopia withdraws its army from occupied sovereign Eritrean territory including the town of Badme in the morning, dialogue between the two countries will start in the afternoon.” 

It would have been great to see a peaceful and fun event with ERITREA participating and one day by the power of the almighty there will come time when these two countries will play in sports activities within respect for each others boundaries. So please all you media organizations get your facts right and ask people to confirm your stories before you start attacking ERITREA. It is clear that anything that has to do with Eritrean soccer is becoming part of the defamation campaign taking place against this peace loving nation.

A member of the Eritrean national team recently got the MVP in Sweden has anyone attempted to do a story on that? I think the answer is a big NO!

For Eri-international sports.

Mike Seium

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Add Your Opinions on FIFA Player & Coach of the year along with Eri-International sports.

For the past two years Eri-International sports has been honored to vote as part of the journalist vote for the player of the year as well as the coach of the year in the for FIFA's Balon d'Or. While we did all we could to make sure that we picked the right people, Eri-International sports as a blog of the people would love to get ideas from you that could help us make a better decision even though the final outcome would be ours. In 2010, France Football signed an agreement with FIFA to make the Ballon d’Or the only trophy for the best player in the world. Two years ago I made headlines all over the world as I decided to pick players that were not favorites of everyone but still some outstanding players. Here are the choices that I made at the time (2013) when Eritrea was actual at the 195th position in world rankings.

Eritrea (195th)

Michael Seium (media) - Neymar, Toure, Ibrahimovic.
The time has now come to vote for the 2015 winner of this trophy, which now goes by the name of FIFA Ballon d’Or. While I do not want to put out the full list of players and coaches on paper, I would like for you my followers to share your ideas on who should be the best player and best coach of 2015 in the world's beautiful game. I will post this on Eri-International sports Facebook page as well and you have a choice to respond back by the end of the week as the voting time is getting closer.

Meanwhile, Breaking news of some sort as everyone should follow the big news today that Henok Goitom may officially be leaving for China as reliable sources have told us he has been offered a deal he can't refuse. We will also find out if Henok will be chosen as the MVP of the Swedish Premier league even though he has made the All-League (best player in his position) team representing his AIK Stockholm as a forward.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Splendid Year (2015) for Red Sea Camel Henok Goitom of AIK Stockholm.

     Eri-International sports has been writing about Henok Goitom for years and have followed his career through connections with people as well as online. What draws him to fans is the simple fact that he is a humble person who has also strong work habits. He has a knack for the goal and has scored many goals some incredible, in all the leagues he has played. He has also matured as a great human being who should be emulated as a great role model and example to young people everywhere.

As most of you know after leaving the Spanish La Liga he has made his home in Sweden with his local team AIK Stockholm and this past weekend he played his last game of the season for AIK where he also scored another beautiful goal and missed many opportunities as his team drew to 1-1 tie ending their hope of winning the Swedish Premier league.  He ended the season with 18 goals second to Emir Kujovic who netted 21 goals for his team IFK Norköbing.

Henok is one of AIK's key players and ended the season as a second leading scorer in the Allsvenskan. So what next for Henok?  It remains to be seen as his contract is set to expire with AIK and, according to several sources it seems like he may be far from extending a new agreement, which could lead him to go elsewhere. There is also a possibility that he could remain with the team for another extension. According to some soccer news sources two teams in China are seriously interested in Henok. It is to be recalled that an Israeli team and a Japanese team were also highly interested in him before he signed with AIK. In an interview he gave to a Swedish TV recently Henok said, “I have close contact with my agent (Colombian Efrain Panchon), but there is nothing concrete.”

The fans love him in Sweden and he has always been very happy with their support including this weekend where he actually mentioned that these loyal fans should get an award.

Talking about awards Henok is in the running for the MVP of the Swedish Premier league. He is one of three nominees for the title of Allsvenskans most valuable player along with Emir Kujovic and Andreas Johansson from IFK Norköbing the team that won the championship. It is also to be recalled Henok represented his national team of ERITREA in 2015 and scored his first goal for the Red Sea boyz.  Henok has accumulated a total of 37 points (29 goals and 8 assists) in his last two seasons and whatever choice he makes Eri-International sports will follow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Subversive campaign by anti-Eritrea sectors: The defection of members of the Eritrean national soccer team in Botswana.

     Before we get upset and before we try to analyze and re-analyze why some players on the ERITREA national team that traveled to Botswana decided to remain and ask for political asylum, let us take a deep breath and not get caught up with the enemy tactics to DEFAME ERITREA! through sports for purely a political reason. Let us look at the facts. Eritrea was back to FIFA international play for the first time in almost 4 years. Ranked at number 202 as a result of past defections, in a two week span of time utilizing Eritrean players from overseas the team competed well.

Meanwhile, cycling & running victories and accolades have spiraled the sports fever in Eritrea in recent weeks. There is no doubt that Eritrean athletics is on a HIGH now. While many good things were happening and we also witnessed one of the biggest crowds ever at Asmara stadium last weekend, somebody had to spoil the party.

Enter a group known as ERITREAN MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY & HUMAN RIGHTS (EMDHR) who have been waiting to capitalize on a situation similar to this. What made it even better for them was the fact that this game was right in their backyard not too far away from South Africa where they are based out of Pretoria. While 24 members of the 34 delegation returned back some who make their homes outside of Eritrea, the 10 players urged by the network of 
organizations have decided to remain in Botswana. 

According to a prominent lawyer from Botswana who usually engages in litigation's against Govt. officials by the name of Dick Bayford, "I have been engaged by the movement to assist in keeping the football players in the country after they received reports that there was an attempt to forcibly remove the players from Botswana," The so called opposition Human rights organization created in South Africa and wanting change in Eritrea seem to think that because 10 players defected the country is in uproar and we have serious problems. However they don't know Eritrea. What makes it even worse is that the lies such lawyers who claim to be human rights lawyers say to make money. He will get his share from the criminals. 

Bayford's audacity to claim that the EMDHR was worried that the players, who are said to be part of the Eritrean army, are likely to be charged with desertion if they are sent back to Eritrea, which is punishable by death. Pure fabrication but strong evidence for Mr. Lawyer!

Defections are not new. Even as recent as this past summer members of the Cuban national soccer team had defected to the USA during the Gold Cup Tournament. Only difference is that these athletes know automatically they will be granted asylum as the USA allows Cuban athletes to defect because the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” US policy is still in effect. The rule stipulates that a Cuban who sets foot on US soil is allowed to stay.

As you can see on the picture below the nucleus of the team is still there along with many other players. To those that defected the sad part of it is that you are using the Eritrean national team to send a political agenda that allows failed organizations like the EMDHR to gain propaganda points.

Meanwhile I am of the belief that players from all parts of the country should be chosen for the national team. The top teams in Eritrea's premier league had a nucleus of the local players on this team but the ENFF must do everything it can to choose players who care about representing their FLAG! Just like Henok and the other players playing outside of ERITREA the passion for the game and the responsibility to represent ERITREA should always be there.

Good Luck to the national team in the future. We will build our program together as a nation. A clear indication was on Saturday when thousands and thousands of fans showed that no matter what ERITREA will always shine in sports.

For Eri-international sports.

Mike Seium