AESAONE, a football tournament open to all Ethiopians without reference to political affiliation, ethnic origin or faith, was held for the first time this year at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC in the United States, where football is better known as ‘soccer’. The tournament is designed to be a cultural event that provides opportunities for Ethiopians and others in the community to interact, to learn about Ethiopian culture and traditions, to network and to foster an understanding of Ethiopian and other cultures, as well as helping young Ethiopians and others in the community to learn and improve their soccer skills. The tournament was sponsored by Mohammed Al Amoudi.
From 1-7 July 2012, 30 teams, including teams from Australia and the United Kingdom, competed in the tournament, making it a truly international event. There were soccer camps for 10-15 year olds and well attended gala concerts on July 4th (US Independence Day) and July 6th (Ethiopia’s National Day). The National Ethiopian African Cup Winning Team of 1962 were guests of honour.
The next two tournaments in 2013 and 2014 are also scheduled to be held in Washington DC at the same venue.