News / The Diaspora

ESFNA Games rock Maryland in weeklong celebrations

By STAFF WRITER  JULY 4, 2015

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ESFNA Games opening ceremony on Sunday, June 28, 2015  Twitter

North America’s biggest Ethiopian gathering, the ESFNA annual soccer tournament and festival is coming to an end after days of sports and concerts in College Park, Maryland.

The ESFNA Games kicked off Sunday, June 28 at Byrd Stadium in the presence of Gedion Zelalem, an American of Ethiopian descent who plays as a midfielder for the English club Arsenal.

About 29 soccer teams from different states tourneyed, including two teams from Canada. Golf tournament, bazaars and musical performances were also part of this year’s event.

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Gedion Zelalem (R) at the opening ceremony with ESFNA Pres. Getachew Tesfaye EthioTube

The highly expected concert of Teddy Afro and Gossaye Tesfaye, which was scheduled to happen in D.C. on Thursday night, got cancelled at the last minute.

Event organizers said the artists were unable to travel to the United States; they did not give further details.

Friday saw the biggest crowd that celebrated the Ethiopian Day with cultural music shows. Ethiopia’s soul queen Aster Aweke, together with rising star Jacky Josse, performed in D.C. later in the night.

Today will be the event’s finale, to be marked by the championship match between Seattle Baro and DC Unity. The defending champions for the last two consecutive years, Virginia’s Ethio-Lion, have failed to make it to the finals.

The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), founded in 1984 as a non-profit organization, aims to promote the Ethiopian culture & heritage within Ethiopian communities across North America.

This is ESFNA’s 32nd tournament.

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