CECAFA in Ethiopia and Why Eritrea is not Participating

Eritrea routinely boycotts sports event that are taking place in Ethiopia due to occupation
“Eritrea routinely boycotts sports event that are taking place in Ethiopia due to occupation” – Eritrean Minister of Information

By Mike Seium | Eri-International Sports,

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 and 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” or “Host Ethiopia won’t allow Eritrea at East African tournament.”

Has it ever occurred to them that Ethiopia is currently 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 CECAFA who then spoke to quick to the tabloid newspapers coming out of east Africa.

Let us make one thing clear: The Red Sea Boys would not go to Ethiopia to play any sports unless of course Ethiopia leaves Eritrean territories and normalization of relation restored. Ambassador Girma Asmerom, a former Ethiopian soccer player and current Eritrean ambassador to the UN, once said in a 2013 Security Council meeting as,

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 people, get your facts right and ask people to confirm your stories unless otherwise you have an agenda against 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.


EDITOR’S NOTE


In August 2010, Eritrea hosted the 5th CECAFA tournaments under the theme “Friendship and Development Cup”.  Except Ethiopia, nine East African countries, including a guest team from Yemen, participated in the game. After observing the enthralling opening show, Mr. Leodoger Tenga, President of CECAFA, praised Eritrea for the high quality preparations and for hosting the tournament. He said, the opening ceremony was by far one of the best in the history of CECAFA.