Sport
Football Legends Nani and Kanu Pledge Support for Ethiopian Youth Footballers 
Jul 13, 2024 345
Addis Ababa July 13/2024 (ENA) International soccer stars Luis Nani and Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu who arrived in Addis Ababa today, expressed their commitment to nurturing young talented footballers in Ethiopia. The former Manchester United winger and Portuguese national team star, Luis Nani, alongside Nigerian football icon Nwankwo Kanu, touched down at Bole International Airport early this morning. Upon their arrival at Bole International Airport, the players were warmly welcomed by the State Minister of Tourism Sileshi Girma, Chairman of Mechal Sports Club Board, Seife Getahun, Director of Defense Media Operations, Brigadier General Kuma Mideksa and Technical Director of Mechal Sports Club, Abraham Mebiratu. The two legendaries' visit coincides with the 80th anniversary celebration of Mechal Sports Club, where they are honored guests. Approached by reporters, Nani expressed his enthusiasm about visiting Ethiopia: “I'm thrilled to be here. This trip offers me a unique opportunity to immerse myself in Ethiopia's rich culture and connect with its people.”   The player further emphasized the importance of youth development in African football. Nani stated that: “For me to be here is it is all about to know more and try to give the support in Africa for the development of football culture and academies.” He particularly mentioned his primary goal to support aspiring young players. “I understand the challenges of becoming a professional footballer, and I am here to share my experiences and knowledge to help nurture Ethiopia's next generation of soccer stars.” Echoing these sentiments, igerian professional football star Nwankwo Kanu stressed the need for reinforcing support for young African footballers.   “It's crucial that we create an environment where young talents can thrive,” the former Arsenal striker remarked. “They need guidance on achieving success, overcoming challenges, and meeting the expectations of professional football.” Both players underscored the importance of successful athletes giving back to the sport. “Our presence here is about more than just celebration. We're here to motivate and inspire. The development of African football relies on established players actively participating in youth development,” Kanu elaborated. This visit by two of football's most respected figures represents a significant opportunity for Ethiopian football, it was stated. Their commitment to sharing insights and experiences could prove invaluable in shaping the future of the sport in the country and across the continent. It is also believed that as the Mechal Sports Club commemorates its 80th year, the presence of Nani and Kanu not only adds prestige to the celebrations but also it is a turning point for football development in Ethiopia. Their dedication is also anticipated to nurture young talent could leave a lasting impact on the nation's sporting landscape.        
Ethiopia Submits Application, Gears Up for Africa Cup of Nations, Announces PM Abiy
Jun 30, 2024 3099
Addis Ababa June 30/2024 (ENA) Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced today that Ethiopia has submitted its application to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the country is carrying out preparatory activities. Prime Minister Abiy had a friendly match early this morning with some of Africa's football legends who are in Ethiopia to participate in the Shenen Africa Festival. Speaking at the occasion, the Prime Minister said that Ethiopia has thrown its hat into the ring to host the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations. Acknowledging the Africa Cup of Nations requires complex procedures, the premier underscored that Ethiopia is intensifying consolidated efforts to make its request come true. He pointed out that a thorough discussion was conducted on the matter with the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Prime Minister Abiy also believed that hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ethiopia will certainly stimulate Ethiopian football. Moreover, AFCON will also bring about a great benefit to the country’s development of the tourism sector. Accordingly, the current visit of legendary African football players to Ethiopia, they are known for playing in the English Premier League and various European clubs will create a great opportunity to promote Ethiopia’s potential in this sphere.   According to him, Ethiopia is working hard through its diplomats to host AFCON and tremendous discussions including with the president of CAF have been underway. “If we succeed in these endeavors, our people will be informed and we will be engaging in the hotel and the stadium arrangements as well as other necessary preparation,” PM Abiy stated. Mentioning the significant role of the Great Run in promoting Ethiopia’s image across the globe, he further confirmed that work in various sports fields, including horse riding, will be reinforced. Former African footballers, and other renowned figures from the continent have also left their Green Legacy footprint at Friendship Park, it was learnt. On Friday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh met with former African footballers known for playing in the English Premier League and various European clubs, famous artists from the continent, influencers, and renowned designers who arrived in Ethiopia to participate in the Shenen Africa Festival.  
Ethiopia Participating in BRICS Sports Ministers Meeting
Jun 23, 2024 4508
Addis Ababa, June 23/2024(ENA)-Ethiopia is participating in a two-day 2024 BRICS sports ministers meeting that has been underway in the Russian city of Kazan. Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Sports, Kejela Merdassa is participating in this BRICS sports forum. At the meeting, participants are reviewing the BRICS sports cooperation in recent years and discussing in depth the cooperation in mass sports, competitive sports, sports industry and international sports affairs and among others. In his remarks on the forum, Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Sports, Kejela Merdassa expressed his pleasure over Ethiopia’s full membership of BRICS, the global emerging bloc. He also appreciated all those who contributed to strengthening the cooperation among the BRICS member countries, according to Minister of Culture and Sports. As the meeting aimed at strengthening sports development and people-to-people ties, the BRICS sport ministers discussed multifaceted and indigenous sports competitions that can play a greater role in strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the member countries. The ministers in the forum also underscored the high level of competition and organization as well as confirmed the need to create new formats of sports events in BRICS countries. On the margins of the BRICS sport ministers meeting, Culture and Sports Minister Kejela also conferred with his counterpart Mikhail Degtyarev, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation. The two sides discussed the possibility of working together in the field of sports and they have reached consensus.  
Great Ethiopian Run Instrumental to Promote Tourism, Investment : World Figure Athletes
Nov 20, 2023 37922
Addis Ababa ,November 20/2023(ENA)፦ The Great Ethiopian Run 2023, held in the vibrant capital of Addis Ababa on November 19, 2023, drawing over 45,000 participants, was a beacon of athletic excellence, economic empowerment, and international camaraderie, legendary World athletics figures and an ambassador stated. Sunday's race, which attracted participants from several countries and international institutions, garnered praise from prominent figures in the world of sports and diplomacy, highlighting its multifaceted impact on Ethiopia and beyond. Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebreselasie hailed the Great Ethiopian Run which attracts people from all walks of life as a crucial catalyst for the growth and development of athletics and the economy in Ethiopia. According to him, many Ethiopians, embassies, NGOs, and people from other international institutions participated in the race. "The event attracts investment for our country. When over 45,000 people run here, it shows how Ethiopia is capable to organizing such a race in Addis Ababa and also attracts foreigners to run or visit as tourists," Haile said. "But I see its importance more in relation to the athletes. We will use the race to develop our athletics,” he underscored. Thus, the Great Ethiopian Run is a lifeline for athletics, tourism, investment, and the economy in Ethiopia, he stressed. Haile believes the Great Ethiopian Run in collaboration with government institutions have the capabilities to organize world-class athletics events. "We are perfect organizers. We can host global athletics events." British TV commentator on athletics Tim Hutchings, impressed by the professional organization and scale of the event, echoed Haile's sentiments on its importance to athletics in the country and beyond.   “I cannot believe how big it is. It is huge, it is very big, and it is well organized, great racing. I love it. I am learning so much," Hutchings said. "And I love Addis. I cannot believe what a great city it is.” He recommended African countries to take a lesson on how to organize such big athletics events successfully. “The quality of organization shows Africa how to put on a race. Other countries should be watching this and learning.” He noted that “for the athletes it is great. Many young athletes can come here and get a chance to be special...It is wonderful that you can find new names in this race.” The winner of the men's 10KM is, for instance, a new name who needs professional coach, manager and sponsor to flourish, and this race has helped him be known, he pointed out. South African long-distance runner Elana Meyer, who was a guest, commended its role in promoting athletics and economic development.   “I enjoyed watching the elite race. It is the biggest in the world. To see 200 women, 200 men starting in the elite race is very difficult,” she said. “It is a very impressive race to see such a strong elite field but then 45,000 participants that came out today to celebrate for Ethiopia. It is unbelievable. I have never been to an event like this and to witness it in my own continent is very special.” People from all over the world should come to experience the race in Ethiopia, the heart of Africa’s run, she noted. “This is absolutely world-class event and people all over the world should come and run it because almost the heart of Africa of running is in East Africa.” She added that the story of this race and Ethiopia have to be told to the world accurately to attract foreign participants and tourists. “Not enough people around the world know about this race because in South Africa I did not realize how big this race was.” Ethiopia is almost where the best runners in the world came from, she stressed. “To attract more people, you need to tell the story.” Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Agostino Palese, who participated in the race, said the event show marvelous events that align with global issues can be organized in Ethiopia.   “It is a good event that could show that in Ethiopia you could organize marvelous events that could cooperate with any event in the rest of the world. It is a very nice day. A lot of people enjoyed a nice race.” The ambassador observed that the race is crucial for Ethiopia’s image, economy, and tourism. “It is a good image for Ethiopia…it is nice even for the economy, for tourism, and for attracting people to Ethiopia,” he added. Besides its sport benefits, the race is a catalyst for economic development and international cooperation.  
Thousands Gather for Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa 
Nov 19, 2023 41414
Addis Ababa ,November 19/2023(ENA)-Tens of thousands of people have gathered at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa today for the 10-kilometre Great Ethiopian Run, the largest road race in Africa. Today, the streets of the capital city are filled with the energy and excitement of the Great Ethiopian Run which started early morning and attracted more than 45,000 participants from Ethiopia, Africa and all over the world.   The runners, including elite athletes, recreational runners, and walkers, made their way through the city's vibrant asphalt streets, cheered on by thousands of spectators. This year's race is particularly significant as it marks the 23rd anniversary of the Great Ethiopian Run. The event was founded in 2001 by renowned world-class Ethiopian Athlete Haile Gebrselassie to promote running as a healthy and accessible activity for all Ethiopians. The Great Ethiopian Run has since grown to become a global phenomenon, attracting participants from many countries. It is also a major economic boost for Addis Ababa and the country generating millions of dollars in revenue each year. The Great Ethiopian Run is more than just a race; it is a celebration of Ethiopian culture and unity. It has been contributing a lot in maintaining and promoting peace and unity among Ethiopians.   The event brings together people from all walks of life to share a common goal: to finish the race and celebrate the joy of running. As the runners crossed the finish line today, they were greeted with cheers and applause from the crowd. The atmosphere was one of pure joy and celebration. The Great Ethiopian Run is a testament to the power of sport to unite people and promote positive change.  
City Administration Expresses Gratitude to Victorious Nat'l Athletics Team
Jul 29, 2022 9751
Addis Ababa July 29/2022/ENA/ The Addis Ababa City Administration held a Thanksgiving ceremony for the Ethiopian athletics team that registered stunning victory at the Oregon World Athletics Championship 2022. The athletic team, which stood second after the US in the medal list, was earlier given warm reception by President Sahle-Work Zewde at the National Palace and the outstanding members awarded. The City Administration Council of Addis Ababa also awarded 10 million Birr prize in total to the athletes who participated in the competition. In addition, the athletes who won gold, silver and bronze medals were given 500 to 250 square meters of land based on their results. Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Adanech Abebie said that the athletes have once again raised Ethiopia's honor in the world arena. "History testifies that we Ethiopians are people who do not surrender to defeat, and challenges make us stronger," she stressed. According to her, the athletes should be honored for their contribution in making the country's flag fly high in the world championships. Ethiopian Athletics Federation President, Commander Derartu Tulu said she was happy with the reception given to the athletes, stating that "the most precious gift is morale and respect we are given by the people." The Thanksgiving program was held under the theme: "We thank you for raising our flag in the world arena.” Culture and Sports Minister Kejela Merdasa, former famous athletes and various government officials attended the ceremony.
Ethiopian News Agency
2023