All Eyes on Little Oromia (OSFNA)
When: August 2 – 9
Where: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Background: As mentioned above, the OSFNA tournament is the premier summer event among the Oromo diaspora. The first OSFNA tournament was held in 1996 in Toronto with six participating soccer clubs: three from the U.S. and the other three from around the host nation, Canada. Over the years, various teams have come and gone. But the ideal upon which the organization (bringing people together through sport) was founded continues to develop, attracting more participants and spectators.
Today, OSFNA games are played along two divisions: the more competitive Division A boasts 16 teams while 3 teams (typically new entrants) play in Division B. The tournament is truly international this year with Australian Oromo Community soccer club participating in the games. After years of complaint about mismanagement, the current OSFNA board has been hard at work to clean up some of the dysfunctions. In addition to an orderly (and hopefully exciting tournament), this year’s organizers are quick to note many additions to the week’s lineup.
“We have expanded sport events with an addition of Ababe Bikila Memorial Race, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer and Youth Sports,” wrote OSFNA President Dula Hassen on the group’s website. Past OSFNA tournaments were mired by infighting among players and lack of professionalism, but OSFNA’s current young leaders say they have done their homework to make sure old habits are gone for good.
For details about specific game time and other events please check: http://www.osfna.org.