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General News

General News

ESFNA is delighted to announce that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has officially proclaimed July 2 - 8, 2017 "Ethiopians' Week", in honor of ESFNA's 34th Annual Soccer Tournament & Cultural Festival, sponsored by Uber, to be held at Renton Stadium.

Mayor Murray notes: "this week-long soccer tournament will be a way for Ethiopians to come together in order to celebrate their culture and identity, to assure the continuity of their ideals in perpetuity" and adds, "this tournament will provide a platform at which Ethiopians can come to express their humanity through sports and other cultural interactions amongst themselves and the Seattle community"

ESFNA is truly humbled by this gesture from Mayor Murray, and is grateful to the City of Seattle for welcoming us with such open arms!

#ESFNA #Seattle2017


2017 ESFNA Town Hall Meeting

By Zemanuel Araya 04/13/2017, 3:30am EDT

Attention all potential vendors, local businesses, members of the media, and residents of the Greater Seattle Area:

In preparation for the 2017 Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival, sponsored by Uber, to be held July 2 - 8 in Seattle, Washington, ESFNA will be hosting a town hall meeting from 2 - 6 PM on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center - Seattle/Renton, located at:

1 South Grady Way,
Renton, WA, 98057 
Phone: 425.226.7700

The purpose of this town hall meeting is two-fold:

First, it will give ESFNA the opportunity to update attendees on the objectives of the Federation, and to discuss how ESFNA and the local community can work together to ensure a successful 2017 event.

Secondly, this town hall meeting is specifically designed to address the concerns and needs of potential vendors and members of the media. Please note that it is mandatory that any interested food vendor be in attendance at the town hall meeting in order to be approved for the 2017 event. ESFNA's Executive Committee will be on hand to clarify the policies and procedures of doing business with ESFNA.

For any questions, please contact:

Alem Abebe - Business Manager
Tel: (202) 257-9791


Samson Mulugeta - Public Relations Chairman
Tel: (310) 384-4283


Together we can ensure that the 2017 ESFNA Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival is one of our best events ever.


We look forward to seeing you there!



The ESFNA Executive Committee


Event draws Ethiopian soccer players and their families, along with fans and friends throughout the U.S. and Canada

Seattle, WA (April 2, 2017) - The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) will host its annual soccer tournament and cultural festival in Seattle this July. The event, now in its 34th year, draws tens of thousands of Ethiopians from across the U.S. and Canada, giving them the opportunity to network and celebrate their shared love of both soccer and Ethiopian culture. It has been 13 years since the event last took place in Seattle:

We really look forward to returning to the Northwest” said Getachew Tesfaye, ESFNA’s President. “Seattle is a wonderful city with a large, vibrant Ethiopian community.“

Renton Memorial Stadium will serve as the official venue for all soccer matches and cultural festivities, including the Opening Day, Ethiopian Day, and Closing Day programs. The week-long tournament and festival will run from July 2-8.

For those traveling to Seattle to attend the event, ESFNA has arranged discounted room rates at the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center - Seattle/Renton​, and the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Seattle Airport - Southcenter​. Those who book rooms by ​June 17th​ using the discount codes “​ESF” for the DoubleTree​ and ​”Ethio701” for Red Lion​ will be able to take advantage of the discounts.

The title sponsor for this year’s tournament is Uber:

 “​Uber is proud to support the tournament and thrilled that members of the ESFNA Board selected Seattle as the host city,” said Brooke Steger, General Manager for Uber in the Pacific Northwest. “For over three decades, the event has shown how sports can be a positive force in bringing people together

Seattle is home to more than 10,000 Ethiopians, many of whom have lived in the city for decades since the U.S. government started placing Ethiopian refugees in Seattle in the 1980s. Today the community is large, well-connected and active.

The Ethiopian community in Seattle has already demonstrated its dedication and commitment to making this year’s event one of our best to date,” added ESFNA Executive Committee member Samson Mulugeta. “In the planning process thus far, they’ve expressed clear and tangible excitement.”

Detailed event and hotel information, as well as forthcoming special discount codes from Uber for travel throughout the week of the event, can be found at 

We’ll see you in Seattle!

                                                           Samson Mulugeta: Public Relations Chairman,  ESFNA

                                            Nathan Hambley: Public Relations Coordinator,  Uber Seattle


About ESFNA:

ESFNA is committed to its fundamental objective of bringing Ethiopians together, using sports - specifically, soccer - as a vehicle for doing so, due to the organization’s long-standing belief that sports transcend differences in race, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. Instead, ESFNA’s neutral platform allows Ethiopians of all backgrounds to unite, network, and enjoy their shared love of sport and culture.


2017 Stadium and Hotel Information

By Zemanuel Araya 03/09/2017, 7:00pm EST

ESFNA is excited to announce that all stadium and hotel arrangements have been finalized for the 34th Annual Soccer Tournament & Cultural Festival, to be held July 2 - 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

Renton Memorial Stadium will serve as the official 2017 venue, and the site of all tournament matches and cultural festivities.

Additionally, ESFNA has secured two hotels for the 2017 event: the DoubleTree Suites  by Hilton, located right by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center, located in Renton. Discounted rates have been negotiated with both hotels, which provide 24 hour shuttle service to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, as well as free parking for all guests. 

Be sure to book your rooms in advance, as rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

For detailed stadium information, please visit the "Stadium Info" section of our Seattle2017 page at:


For detailed hotel information (including group codes for discounted rates), please visit the "Hotel Accommodations" section of our Seattle 2017 page at:

We'll see you in Seattle!


It is with deep sorrow that the ESFNA Executive Committee, Board Members, and community at large mourn the passing of Dr. Richard Keir Pethick Pankhurst, OBE (Order of the British Empire) on February 16, 2017.

Dr. Pankhurst was born in 1927 to his father Silvio Corio, an Italian anarchist, and his mother,  Sylvia Pankhurst, a suffragette and long time champion of women's rights.

An avid fan of Ethiopian culture, and an active supporter of its independence following the Italian invasion of 1935, Pankhurst's mother Sylvia was a close friend of Emperor Haile Selassie and published Ethiopia: A Cultural History in 1955. The following year she moved to Ethiopia with her son Richard, who likewise grew to love Ethiopia and its culture.

Dr. Pankhurst would go on to become a professor at the University of Addis Ababa, and in 1962 he was the founding director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, dedicated to research in all fields relating to Ethiopia. He also edited the Journal of Ethiopian Studies and the Ethiopia Observer, and grew to become a world renown historian and expert of Ethiopian studies, writing over 20 books on Ethiopian culture, history and even economics.

In 1976, following the death of Emperor Haile Selassie and the start of the Ethiopian Civil War, Dr. Pankhurst left the Institute and his professorship at the University of Addis Ababa in order to return to England, where he became a research fellow with the School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics. It was during this time in London that he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British government, which cited his services to Ethiopian studies as their reason for bestowing the prestigious award. In 1986, he returned to Ethiopia, where he resumed his work at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. Most recently, in 2008 Dr. Pankhurst led the campaign for the return of the Obelisk of Axum to Ethiopia, where it was re-erected. For these efforts, he was awarded the honorary title of "Dejazmach Bankirew".

For many of us here at ESFNA, we fondly remember Dr. Pankhurst from his visit in 2006 as our Guest of Honor in Los Angeles. We were amazed by his kindness and humility, and touched by his gentle spirit as he engaged with our many visitors at the L.A. Coliseum, particularly around our vending area. Indeed, we feel incredibly fortunate that we had the opportunity to use our platform to recognize such an amazing contributor to Ethiopian studies while he was alive.

Dr. Pankhurst is survived by his two children: daughter Helen Pankhurst, and son Alula Pankhurst, with whom he has collaborated on at least one book. His children share his love for Ethiopia, as Helen currently works as Care International's senior advisor for the UK and Ethiopia, and Alula serves as a social development consultant for Ethiopia, teaching anthropology at Addis Ababa University and serving as country director for Young Lives, an international research project on child poverty.

Dr. Pankhurst was not only a friend to ESFNA, but a friend to all Ethiopians around the world. May his soul rest in peace.  

2017 Vendor Registration Now Open

By Zemanuel Araya 02/14/2017, 1:45pm EST

Vendor Registration is now officially open for the 2017 ESFNA Soccer Tournament & Cultural Festival, to be held July 2 - 8, 2017 in Seattle, WA.

As always, interested parties may select from three vendor categories:

1. 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Vendors (at a rate of $600 for the week)
2. Dry Goods Vendors (at a rate of $1,200 for the week)
3. Food/Beverage Vendors (at a rate of $3,200 for the week)

All Nonprofit and Dry Goods Vendors will receive two free weekly passes. Food & Beverage Vendors will receive four free weekly passes. If a vendor requires more than these included passes for their booth, additional weekly passes are available for purchase. Lost passes will not be replaced, and will require the purchase of a new weekly pass.

All vendors MUST submit an online vendor application in order to reserve a vendor booth. There are no exceptions. Additionally, vendors may not sell any items outside of their designated product line, without prior approval from ESFNA in writing. For example, Dry Goods vendors may not sell any food or beverages. Food vendors may not sell dry goods, and Nonprofit vendors may not sell products at all (but have the liberty of collecting donations on behalf of their organization). 

Lastly, all Food/Beverage vendors must comply with county Health Department regulations and prepare all necessary documentation on time. ESFNA will work with all food vendors to facilitate this process.


The Vendor Application Form can be accessed at the following link:


The Vendor Application can also be accessed from the home page of, under the "Seattle 2017" tab. For any questions, please contact our Business Manager Alem Abebe by phone at 202-257-9791 or by e-mail at


1. No vendor may sell items using the ESFNA logo/image.


2. ESFNA strictly prohibits the sale of any drug paraphernalia, alcoholic beverages, or tobacco products (including hookah/shisha products) by vendors on stadium premises or at any official ESFNA event. 

3. All vendor space is allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. When the available vendor booths have been sold out, the vendor application will be closed and no further submissions will be accepted.

4. Paying the non-refundable registration fee ($30) does not guarantee you will have a booth reserved. In order to guarantee a vendor booth has been reserved, the applicant must pay for the booth in full. If an applicant decides to only pay the registration fee upon submission of the vendor application, a booth will not be reserved until payment has been made in full.


ESFNA Proud to Announce Partnership with Uber

By Zemanuel Araya 02/07/2017, 4:15pm EST

The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) is returning to the Pacific Northwest!

For the 2017 Soccer Tournament & Cultural Festival, ESFNA is proud and excited to announce its official partnership with Uber, our corporate Title Sponsor for this year.

For the first time since 2004, Seattle, Washington will serve as the host city of the 34th Annual ESFNA Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival, to take place July 2 - 8, 2017

Brooke Steger, Uber General Manager for the Pacific Northwest, had the following to say in acknowledging Uber's partnership with ESFNA:

"Uber is proud to sponsor the tournament this year and thrilled that members of the ESFNA Board have selected Seattle as the host city. For over three decades, the event has shown how sports can be a positive force in bringing people together"

ESFNA is incredibly grateful to Uber for its support, and views this sponsorship as an expression of Uber's commitment and gratitude to not only the Ethiopian community of Seattle, but Ethiopian communities across the nation.

After much deliberation, the Board Members of ESFNA have selected Seattle, Washington as the official host city for the 34th Annual ESFNA Soccer Tournament & Cultural Festival (July 2 - 8, 2017), sponsored by Uber Pacific Northwest!

ESFNA is thrilled to return to the great city of Seattle, a culturally diverse technology hub with a vibrant Ethiopian community. 2017 will be the first tournament in Seattle in 13 years.

Details to follow. Stay tuned!!


ESFNA Deeply Troubled by Recent Developments in Ethiopia

By Getachew Tesfaye 08/25/2016, 9:30am EDT

We at ESFNA are alarmed, heartbroken and angered by recent tragic developments in Ethiopia.

ESFNA is a non-political, non-religious sports and cultural organization. This, however, does not mean that we remain silent on the sidelines when we witness wanton killings of unarmed civilians in our country of origin, for simply expressing their views and holding peaceful demonstrations.

ESFNA strongly condemns the killings of over 600 unarmed demonstrators in the past few months in different areas of Ethiopia, by the very authorities that are supposed to protect them. We call on ALL Ethiopians to work hard to bring about lasting peace and reconciliation to our beloved country.

ESFNA’s history clearly shows that it has been in the forefront, standing with our people during famines, floods, the AIDS epidemic and a whole slew of other social issues.  We believe this issue trumps all others because it was preventable had the government simply respected its citizens' inalienable human right to express their views in a peaceful demonstration.

These killings of innocent, unarmed civilians must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, by all sectors of our society and we demand that they be stopped immediately. Further, we call upon all religious leaders within our country, of all different faiths, to take the moral high ground and demand that the Government forces stop these wanton killings immediately!

We also call on all our members and ALL Ethiopians around the world not only to pray for lasting peace in Ethiopia, but also to take an active role and say no more gross injustice in our country. 

This is a moment of truth for ESFNA and our members and we choose to stand with our people and the truth.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to those that have lost a loved one and pray for the souls of the dearly departed as we again make a very strong call for peace in our country.  May God bless our beloved Ethiopia and its people and land!

As Martin Luther King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  Justice will prevail in our country, but let’s all do our part and take just actions today that will make a better tomorrow for all.


- The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America.

Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA):  Bringing Ethiopians Together™

ESFNA prides itself in creating a unique stage where Ethiopians of all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and political convictions can come together to celebrate our long enduring unique heritage and diversity that has become our strength through the millenniums.  Our goal and vision over the past 30 years has been to maintain ESFNA’s annual festivities as the Mecca where ALL Ethiopians and supporters can come together once a year to create our own mini Ethiopia in the land of our refuge. 

Founded in 1984, ESFNA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the rich Ethiopian culture and heritage as well as building positive environments within Ethiopian-American communities in North America. Its mission is Bringing Ethiopians Together to network, support the business community, and empower the youth by providing scholarships and mentoring programs, primarily using soccer tournaments, other sports activities and cultural events as vehicles.  ESFNA, by virtue of its status, is non-political, non-religious and non-ethnic. We adhered to this position all along as legally expected and in concert with our bylaws.


ESFNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 raffle prize drawing!

Congratulations to our ESFNA 2016 Raffle Winners

By Abel Araya 07/11/2016, 9:00am EDT

ESFNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 raffle prize drawing!

1st Prize
Daniel from Sugar Land, Texas
Ticket No. 04274

2nd Prize
Two round-trip tickets to Ethiopia
Mulu from Johnston, Iowa
Ticket No. 05786

3rd Prize
One week hotel stay during #ESFNA2017 tournament
Aynalem from Fontana, California
Ticket No. 04539

The Drawing

On Saturday July 9, 2016, ESFNA collected all the raffle ticket stubs. At the Closing Night Party at Sound Academy, the Master of Ceremony randomly selected three individuals from the audience to pull the 3 winning tickets from a basket that included all raffle tickets. The drawing was conducted in front of the entire audience and witnessed by members of ESFNA's Executive Committee members.  The winning numbers were immediately read to the audience. 

ESFNA congratulates the winners!