Atlanta to Host The 2011 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

Above: Atlanta edges out Toronto to host the next Ethiopian
Soccer Tournament. (Photo by Kal Kassa/Tadias Magazine file)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America has announced that Atlanta will be hosting the organization’s soccer tournament for 2011. The tournament site was selected by the group’s nine-member Executive Committee.

The federation’s spokesperson Fassil Abebe confirmed the decision: “Yes, Atlanta has been selected as the 2011 Tournament/Festival site after carefully considering the bids from Toronto and Atlanta,” Fassil told Tadias Magazine.

The 2011 tournament will mark its fourth return to Atlanta. The city’s Ethiopian soccer team is also four time champion of the national competition, bringing the trophy home in 1994 and 1997 while winning the cup at home games in 1998 and 2005. Atlanta hosted the ESFNA soccer tournament & festivities in 1986, 1998, and 2005.

The announcement dashes the hopes of the runner-up Ethio Star, Toronto’s Ethiopian soccer team, who put up a spirited bid to host the upcoming event.

“After thoroughly examining the proposals from both Atlanta and Toronto, the Executive Committee (EC) has selected Atlanta as the 2011 Tournament site,” ESFNA said in a brief statement posted on its website. “The EC and Board of Directors of ESFNA will hold their Winter meeting in Atlanta October 16 and 17, 2010.”

The annual gathering, which next year celebrates its 28th anniversary, goes far beyond sports entertainment, allowing families and friends in North America’s Ethiopian immigrant community to come together in celebration of sports and their cultural heritage. The tournament week is a popular time for networking, alumni gatherings, small business catering, music performances, and reunion parties. Hosting also offers a variety of benefits to the community, including local economic impact stemming from hotel, transportation, food and other-related purchases.

Cover Image: At the 2010 San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament by Kal Kassa.

Related from Tadias archives:
Photo Journal: San Jose Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2010

Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009 (Tadias)

15 Responses to “Atlanta to Host The 2011 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament”

  1. 1 nolawi Sep 21st, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    so glad its not toronto! ATL baby!

  2. 2 Concerned Tornoto Abesha Man Sep 21st, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Why did it take so long to make a predictable and stupid decision. So typical… it sucks.

  3. 3 Samuel Getachew Sep 21st, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Toronto gave everything to make our bid successful. We worked with the local Ethiopian business and civic leaders, Mayor David Miller, Tourism Toronto, the Ethiopian Community Association and presented a very well intentioned bid. With an understanding that the last time Toronto hosted the event was more than a decade ago and Atlanta a mere 6 years, we assumed we had a good shot.ESFNA saw something else and it is very unfortunate.

    I would like to congratulate Atlanta on the win and wish them the very best!


  4. 4 wondwossen Sep 21st, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    atlanta debari hager neew DC or LA Bihon Teru Neber.

  5. 5 Ye Oak Town Lij Sep 21st, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    It is indeed unfortunate, but come on, take it as lesson learned and move on. Don’t give up but don’t be a sore loser either, accept the decision in the interest of the larger community and move on…Congratulations Atlanta!!

  6. 6 Dawit Teshome Sep 21st, 2010 at 11:32 pm


    One of the things they have to consider and reason why it has not been in Canada for quite sometime is to accomodate a good number of ESFANA fans that cannot travel to Canada due to immigration, visa and border issues.


  7. 7 Yeshimebet Tilahun Sep 22nd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The best tournament that I ever attended was in Atlanta in 2005. Period. I am highly looking forward to returning to Atlanta!!

  8. 8 Yohannes Sep 22nd, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I attended 1998 (as a visitor) & 2005 (as residence of Atl) tournaments in Atlanta & it was the best. I am looking forward to have my friends & family here in Atlanta in 2011.

    Gongra Atlantans!

  9. 9 Samuel Getachew Sep 22nd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Dawit Teshome,
    How about the Canadians who can not travel to the US “due to immigration, visa and border issues” including our best Ethio Star players?

  10. 10 Fassil A. Sep 22nd, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The Executive Committee (EC) of ESFNA awarded the 2011 Tournament/Festival to Atlanta after carefully examining both bids from Toronto and Atlanta. The reason it took so long is a clear indication that the decision was not easy. Even-though Toronto was the sentimental choice of many Ethiopians, it was simply too expensive to have the the tournament there at this time. We hope with an improved global economy in the near future, we will be able to afford to come to Toronto. In the mean time, see you all in ATL.

  11. 11 Dawit Teshome Sep 23rd, 2010 at 12:06 am


    You are right. The border corssing issues do not only affect Ethiopians who reside in USA but also those in Canada. However, if you put the equation of the population density on either side, you have more Ethiopians who reside in USA. I think this is an issue that ESFANA has to take up.


  12. 12 fuad May 11th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I am not an Ethiopian national but I do love Ethiopians.My name is Fuad and i represented Houston team from 1984″first tournament”was held in Houston till 1988 tournament which was held in Wash.DC.Then i went back home.I think many people remember my name.I’m planing to attend this tournament in Atlanta.My last trip to Atlanta was in 1986 tournament.

  13. 13 Samba May 27th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    My name is Samba, I live in California and I am from Senegal. I play soccer with some ethiopians friends (Ambessa) who invite me to join them in Atlanta. I am looking forward to get there. I love Ethiopia.

  14. 14 frew Jun 25th, 2011 at 6:55 am

    why we have to have an issue on everything..(can we all get alone!!!)…to me it does not matter where the tournament will be … the main thing is to have fun and have a good time with my fellow ethiopian people

  15. 15 Soccer Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    ATL here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just got my ticket

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