An unprecedented show of unity

Attended by thousands of Ethiopian Australians, the 2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival has been celebrated in an unprecedented show of unity in Melbourne.

The Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival started 22 years ago with the purpose of bringing all Ethiopians together to celebrate their culture, to network with each other and enjoy competitive soccer matches among the youth.

Yet it has been marred by divisions, infighting, power struggles and personality conflicts.

Organised by the different opposing groups, two or three separate tournament events have been held in the same week over the last many years and members of the community were left to choose which tournament to attend.

But following the change of political leadership in Ethiopia, and particularly with the leadership of progressive and reformist Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed at the helm, Ethiopians across the world have felt compelled to put their differences aside and come together in unity and agreement.

It now appears that the many groups have been shamed into taking action towards unity.

The magnificent tournament in Melbourne that attracted thousands of participants and brought together previously warring groups of people in the one place is a direct by-product of the new political leadership in Ethiopia and has given a lot of members of the community renewed hopes of a new era of togetherness.

Below are photos from the tournament.

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival

2018 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament and Cultural Festival