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Is reforming ESFNA possible?

By Elias Kifle

Al Amoudi’s aid Abinet Gebremeskel has apparently ordered his servants Ayaya, Fassil and gang at the ESFNA to stay firm on Birtukan disinvitation and ride out the storm, according to Ethiopian Review sources. Having Birtukan as ESFNA’s guest of honor is simply unacceptable to Al Amoudi and Abinet who are currently under the crosshairs of Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin and must demonstrate their loyalty to Woyanne more than ever.

Meanwhile, at least four of the nine executive committee members are demanding reinstatement of Birtukan’s invitation. Several teams have expressed their intention to go public with their demand. In Atlanta, which has been chosen to host the July 2011 event, community leaders and activists are preparing to give a warning to the executive committee that they will call for boycott of the event if Birtukan is not invited. As a way out of the quagmire, the Ayaya-Fasil group within the executive committee is now asking the host team in Atlanta to invite Birtukan without mentioning ESFNA’s name.

Birtukan’s invitation, however, is not the only issue at hand. Equally important is the rampant corruption and malfeasance inside the ESFNA leadership.

It is not a secret that the 27-year-old Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) has been infiltrated and hijacked by Woyanne through billionaire businessman Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi. As a result, for the past 5 years, the organization has been transformed into a political tool for Woyanne. On top of that, the misconduct of some of its officials has been a source of embarrassment for the Ethiopian community in North America. In recent events, we have heard reports about hotels being vandalized, vendors being abused, as well as increasing incidents of illicit drug use and sexual harassment during the annual events. Much of the money that is collected from soccer games and concerts has been embezzled by a group within the executive committee that operates like a mafia group. ESFNA’s 2008 tax return [see here], shows an income of $1.6 million and a total expense of $1.5 million. The bulk of the expense ($1.2 million) is simply itemized as “other expenses.” If an independent accountant combs through the return, it could be uncovered that much of money that is spent for “other expenses” has been misappropriated.

The misconducts, some of criminal nature, are too many to list here. To put it simply, the Al Amoudi-controlled ESFNA is a totally corrupt organization that is an embarrassment to the Ethiopian community in North America.

Is reform possible?

ESFNA’s corruption and shameful acts are recently brought to the surface by a group of concerned individuals within the organization who are determined to reform it and make it a genuine Ethiopian institution that reflects the values of the community. As a first step, the individuals who are striving to reform ESFNA have proposed two things at the board meeting that was held late last month in Atlanta:

1) hire an independent CPA to perform a thorough audit
2) invite Judge Birtukan Mideksa as a guest of honor

The executive committee has rejected both requests, and the Ayaya group threatened to physically attack the individuals who put forward the requests. Some of the team representatives who make up the 27-member Board of Directors fought back and forced the chairman to take a vote. The majority voted for inviting Birtukan. However, in a show of utter contempt to the board’s authority, the lawless Ayaya and gang demanded the members to withdraw their votes, and when they refused to do so, Ayaya, joined by Sebsibe, and Fasil demanded the chairman to reverse the decision. The chairman, who is a puppet of Al Amoudi, complied, causing five teams to walk out in protest.

Before a decision was to be made on auditing ESFNA’s fiances — another even more contentious issue — the executive committee hurriedly adjourned the meeting and started to hand out $2,000 checks to every team representative as a hush up money. The corrupt executive committee handed out a total of over $54,000 just to the board members at the end of the Atlanta meeting. Their hotel and other accommodations were also fully paid. The executive committee squanders the organization’s money in this manner.


1. Dismiss all the executive committee members — with the exception of three or four who are thought to be honest individuals.

2. Remove all individuals in the leadership who are associated with Al Amoudi and Woyanne, namely Ayaya (Eyaya) Arega, Sebsibe Assefa, Fassil Abebe, Endale Tufer, and Demis Lemma (Arawit).

3. Bring in an independent accountant and audit ESFNA’s finances.

4. Remove Al Amoudi’s ESFNA permanent guest of honor status.

If ESFNA is unable to reform itself due to the entrenched power of the Al Amoudi gang, it must be forced to cease operating in the name of the Ethiopian community in North America.

27 thoughts on “Is reforming ESFNA possible?

  1. This ESFNA animals want diestroy Ethiopianizm. Abnet another Hodam,selfish & useles arawit person.
    We have to call Zerae Deress to show our Unity Flag in Atlanta.

  2. Elias,
    thank you for addressing the ground truth along the resolving remedy. We ethiopians should force esfna team members to push this two main issues via thier representative so that esfna can be reformed.

    elias, we will work with you and thank you so much for your unparallel job to save esfna from alamudi and tplf servants mafia vagabond group.

  3. Hi Elias, since there is allegation of misappropriation of funds (embezzlement), there must be forensic examination of the books and records of the organization and not audit. Audit is nothing, but expressing an opinion of the financial statements of the organization and very limited in scope. Note that forensic examination is conducted by a professional holding either CFE or CFF designation or both. He or she may as well be a CPA.
    However, I suggest that the individual or individuals be none Ethiopians to avoid any name-calling and mud-slinging.



  5. I am convinced that some of the problems that Elias mentioned, such as drug trafficking, sexual abuse and corruption could be well-founded. The conflict is now spiraling and more dirt could come out. If the ESFNA board wants to stop the spread of such dirt, it needs to act fast and reinstate W/r Birtukan’s original invitation. Unless this conflict is resolved quickly, ESFNA as we know it could indeed be dead – an outcome that may satisfy neither group.

  6. It is foolishness to try to reform this group. What we need is to start our own ESFNA and ignore this useless group. I have always wondered what they have done with the money. This highly cohesive group of people have never been transparent which tells me some embezzlement of public funds. We need a new and transparent ESPNA that can organize not just soccer but all athletics events as well as theatrical and arts events.

  7. Elias,

    Good job.

    Other issues of priority.

    1. First and foremost let the existing Executive Committee of ESFNA re-post the bylaws of the organization on its website. They may attempt to forge the old one.

    2. Let us own back the teams, which compose the Board of ESFNA. Force those teams to elect new representatives if they declined to support the majority vote of club members. This way we can re-take ESFNA back from Woyane.

  8. I personaly belive that we us a community have to force our state team bored memmbers to hold a meeting with players and the community they represent to ESFNA.To tell them what we fell about it and also to know what they think. I’m saying this, because they every where so it must be clean up bottom up. Kifle u need to start make a phone call for a team board memmbers. Thanks Kifle u the best let us do something before it’s late. Wake up every one. We been sleeping it is enough.

  9. Elias,
    You are right the issue is respect the majority vote and ESFNA needs to invite ESFNA not a few Vendors who are ready to make money or to join woyane.

    Reform ESFNA demand the resignation of the EC specially the President and the PR.

    Demand an outside auditor to look into ESFNA finances.

    Demand ESFNA to be transparent to the Ethiopians in NA not to Addis Abeba

    ESFNA need to make a choice between joining Dedebit or the people who build it in the first place…

    Atlanta organizing committee read what the people of Atlanta demand… ESFNA to invite Birtukan not you gang of FIVE a stooge of Endale Tufar who is an open Woyane. Endale had been a driver for Abenet, had joined Woyane in DC demonstration in support of Woyane and resently had a secret meeting with the Woyane minister ( Aster)…

    Endale is an open Woyane Cadre and now he is an Executive member of ESFNA… The five stoogies are Endale Tufar people…do not represent Atlanta. The true leaders of Atlanta team voted for Birtukan but Endale refused by joining hand with Eyaya and Sebsebe..

    Watch more coming…..soon.

  10. Have you checked the ESFNA site how it claims that it was democratically that Judge Birtukan was voted as a guest of honor. I find it very contradictory to discuss and vote the second time…..what part is the democratic process…if they are voting until the result suits the few board members the technical term is dictatorship….are they assuming the readers can’t read and understand…..

  11. An eye opening invesigative report. You know these people, the ESFNA if found embezzling money in the name of Ethiopians, could be brought to court and face prison or fine or both. As someone suggested their books should thoroughly be examined.

    ESFNA itself should pay for the Auditors who sould be professionals and not attached to any group.

    By favoring the likes of Al Amoudi and rejecting Birtukan, ESFNA itself has politicized the federation. According to reports key members of the organization have clearly shown which politcal party they favor — the anti-Ethiopia regime in Addis Ababa or the pro-Ethiopia defenders like Birtukan.

  12. The first step is to contact Elias Dimberu the Internal Audit for ESFNA at 817-401-4602 . The address is 3101 Savoy Wylie TX 75098.

    According to the 2008 tax return Section C no 18 State the name of Physical address and telephone number of the person who possesses the book and records of the organization is Elias Dimberu.

    This a Public record he has to provide us documents.

    If IRS audit he will be the first one IRS will contact.

  13. ESFNA has been lead by gangsters who are HODAMS for so lone at the expense of Ethiopian Diaspora. Please, check with PORTLAND team how they were fighting to bring down ESFNA. Let Diaspora Ethiopian reject ESFNA and instead establish community based team’s than individually ownes team. Elias don’t quit on dismantelling the gangsters AYAYA, SEBSIBE AND THE LIKES WHO ARE ILLITERATES AND HODAMS.

  14. Well, well, these Ayaya groups feel like they owned ESFNA just because they are former players? Are the rest of diaspora dead to allow this to happen? Get rid of any members who are trying to under mine the MISSION of the organization. It is about the diaspora owning ESFNA period. It should not be shut down due to these elements and even sue the group and claim the organization. This is becoming like Kinijit weakening the unity of Ethiopians in the diaspora which is a blessing for Meles regime and Alamoudi

  15. People,

    You must understand those advocating for new organization. Is this how we act every time we face problems that to keep forming new organization like what happened to kinijit because we are afraid or too weak to reclaim what belongs to us? Is this a joke? ESFNA needs to be reclaimed by Ethiopian community and does not belong to any members. Remember, the members are employers not owners. We have a right to get everything investigate. We need to do this quick before these members get more money from Alamdoudi to attack the Ethiopian diaspora. I also don’t trust Ayaya group who would give information to Weyane about those who are resisting the Ayaya group to attack their family in Ethiopia in order to silence them. As a result those working for ESFNA can be reluctantly be silenced.

  16. Elias,
    OMG. The poor diaspora is being robbed blind by these woyane thugs. Ding dong, the witch is dead! IRS loves to make an example of criminals who use the 501(c)3 status of organizations to enrich themselves. Unless all of them flee the country they are going to be in the big house with an orange uniform. Greed is NOT always good. With Moudi’s AQ connections the IRS would love to know about the “gifts” too. Get the popcorn and watch the horror flick boys and girls!!! And, oh they deserve to rot in prison and burn in hell.

  17. # 16 What you are doing is a crime, Elias is not with ESFNA why do you have to go to some one personal Life? and his Tel. and Address? In order to post a comment in this site you have to support Elias Kifle. I can’t said more than this.

  18. # 23.
    It is correct who ever files the tax is documented. Elias was an Auditor but now he is replaced by Zelalem from DC. By the way Elias is a brother in law of Ato abenet..

  19. This is not about Birtukan any more,it is about the principle. As an Ethiopian i’m embarrassed by the way we have been treated. Year after year we had to go up and down like a YOYO. Back home little boys play soccer ball kicking it to each other but not letting kids who are not their friends to touch it, that is exactly what happened to the players here at ESFNA.I’m informed from many players that the ESFNA does not contribute for their uniform,transportation,hotel expense and most of all there is no insurance to protect them. When soccer players are on the filed many injuries inflicted up on them but none of them got help from the ESFNA and left limping for life.I suggest the investigation unit or who ever is handling this case should also look in to this .
    Thank you Birtukan you are giving us a reason to clean the mess here in the free world!!!

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