The smell of corruption envelops ESFNA

By Elias Kifle

The recent lawless action of Ethiopian Sports Federation North America’s (ESFNA) executive committee in reversing a decision by the board to invite Birtukan Mideksa as a guest of honor has drawn the attention of a number of Ethiopian groups and concerned Ethiopians who have started to take a closer look at the 25-year-old organization. Ethiopian Review, on its part, has launched an investigation into ESFNA’s activities. Our investigation so far has uncovered the following. (We have also contacted the FBI with a request for investigation. Click here to read.)

1. The ESFNA 9-member executive committee is simply in the service of billionaire businessman Ato Al Amoudi, not the Ethiopian community in North America. ESFNA’s top decision-making body, the 27-member board that represents the soccer teams in the U.S. and Canada, has been stripped of its authority by Al Amoudi’s top aid Abnet Gebremeskel through bribes to some of its members and intimidation by a gang of thugs led by Ayaya Arega, Sebsebe Assefa and Demis Lema (aka Arawit).

Al Amoudi (center) wearing a t-shirt with Woyanne logo; top aid Abnet Gebremeskel (left)

2. Those executive committee (EC) members who are {www:subservient} to Abnet are given wads of cash, free plane ticket to fly to Ethiopia and stay at Sheraton Hotel for free up to 2 months per year. Those who try to carry out their responsibilities as board members are physically threatened by Ayaya and his thugs. The chairman, Mekonnen Demisiew, is the Girma Woldegirogis of ESFNA. For example, when he chairs meetings, Ayaya or one of the thugs simply snatch away the microphone from him and order him what to say or not to say.

3. Attendance has been declining drastically at the ESFNA annual events during the past 5 years. July 2010 was the worst yet. That seems to be fine with Al Amoudi and his Woyanne junta as long as Ethiopians who oppose the ruling party do not control this potentially powerful organization that can bring together tens of thousands of people from all backgrounds.

Ayaya Arega

Ayaya Arega

4. ESFNA is currently facing a lawsuit that was filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court by its former auditor Assfaw Teferi.

5. ESFNA has not been audited by an independent auditor for over 20 years. A few years ago, when some ESFNA members led by the late Dr WM Akalou tried to clean up house, they had discovered that at least $40,000 was missing in one incident alone. The treasurer, who is part of the Ayaya gang, admitted that he took the money and was forced to resign. But soon after that, the stealing continued. It is not unusual for sacks of money to disappear following soccer matches and music concerts.


6. Al Amoudi gave over $700,000 to the ESFNA so far, but it is not clear how the money was used.

7. Ayaya and Arawit have escaped from  Ethiopia after allegedly orchestrating the savage beating and attempted murder of The Reporter editor-in-chief Amare Aregawi. They attempted to kill Amare after The Reporter begun publishing investigative reports about how Al Amoudi is manipulating the Ethiopian banking system. One of the suspects in the attempted murder is Arawit, who is employed by Abnet through Ayaya. Currently, Arawit is living inside a $3,000-per-month luxury apartment on Massachusetts Ave., Washington DC. All his living expenses are being paid for by Abnet, on top of hefty allowance.

8. While objecting to naming Birtukan Mideksa as a guest of honor, the Ayaya gang has forced ESFNA to name Al Amoudi as permanent honorary president of the ESFNA. As we all know, Al Amoudi is an active member and “election” campaigner of Woyanne.

9. For Al Amoudi’s Ayaya gang, ESFNA is a cash cow that they are milking at will. At one point, the Federation was generating up to $3 million in revenue at the one-week annual event. However, much of the one disappears without a trace. The players are forced to buy their own soccer gear (uniform, shoes, etc.) and some times they raise funds from their local community.

Al Amoudi aid and the real boss of ESFNA Abinet Gebremeskel who lives and acts like a mafia boss

10. It must be noted that most of the ESFNA members are innocent Ethiopians who are being victimized by a well-financed, mafia-like group under the supervision Al Amoudi’s aid Abnet Gebremeskel. Visible and active members of the gang are Ayaya Arega, Sebsebe Asefa, Endale Tufer, Arawit, and Fassil Abebe. Another member of the group, Solomon Tekle, is facing long prison term after being convicted of heroin trafficking. Their mission is to keep the ESFNA under the control of the ruling Woyanne junta, while stealing its funds with impunity.

Ethiopian Review’s investigation of ESFNA continues. We urge any one who has any credible information to contact us at or call 202 656 5117. What we have uncovered so far is so outrageous that we are compelled to report our finding to the FBI. Click here to read.

Addis Dimts Radio has a discussion about ESFNA on its Sunday program. Listen here (forward to 1:04:01):

67 thoughts on “The smell of corruption envelops ESFNA

  1. bliss on

    Such letter must have prove of documents before reporting to FBI. FBI will not do anything before any prove.

    ESFNA will not be changed how could it? It was formed by Ethiopia Diaspora’s name and will always stay the same. The money donated is from Ethiopians in the Diaspora. Because now, Al Amoudi donated, they are trying to own it and turning it into Weyane’s. Why did ESFNA accept the donation from Al Amoudi? What it needs to be done is the groups in the committee should obey the policy set by Ethiopians in the Diaspor and should stay that way. Any one changing that policy should be voted out by the members of Ethiopian Diaspora.

  2. WETMED on

    We have this problem in europe and most of where Ethiopian comunity organaized.we can fight this problem only if we use the method of ELIAS. WRDET LE WEYANE BUCHLOCH !!!!!

  3. Ethiopia on

    Thank you Elias you did a good job. We will suupport you financialy open an account as soon as possible. Please ” Enezehen jiboch” kill them. Al amoudi I wish you are dead.

  4. leba yetfu on

    FBI IRS let’s have every investigator on board. corruption of this proportion is unacceptable. one looks like minutes away from a heart attack. ugly hodamoch.

  5. Yineger on

    Is it my eye or are Abenet and Al- amudin looks alike? The face, the stomach looks like a big truck’s gas tank .

  6. debela on

    Let us clean house

    1-Gonder Meredaja Drgt stripped out of its cash by a member.
    2-One of the former qnjit leader dissolved the cash given by its members.
    3-Another opposition organization its accountant put every cent it made and put the money in its own private account. the so called accounatnt was buying from items in the grocery stores up to a house.
    4-These are the tips of the ice berg. Elias if we clean our house let us clean it from all maggots and dirts that has have happen for a long time. These buffons should be investigated and lets get to the bottom of it. Now a days it is becoming an embarasement to belong to any Ethiopian opposition organization. That is why tegadalite has a field day.

  7. Tagel on

    let us stand along with Elias .That is how we can really challenge woyane.Let us show them how aggressive we are in fighting woyane and his merceneries who took refuge in ESFNA and elsewhere in church and Ethiopian communities.

  8. Geremew Isaatuu on

    I had read the first proposal of the formation of this organization. The formed organization totally lost its goals and visions. What a failure. The image of the organization and its internal activities do not match at all. Sorry for Addis Ababa Gangs. The Markato gangsters are invading American lucrative none profitable market for their personal benefits. Corruption and corruption and corruption an Ethiopian style. I want to hear something from Professor Getachew who has been a key personality in the promotion of the organization. Say something DR. Getachew from Minnesota.

  9. I believe let who ever formed the organization carry out vote of confidence before next game. If that is not possible, at the end of the game let participants set as their goal to do this and restracture ESFNA.

  10. There is nothing apolitical in the guest of honors of ESFNA in the past. I don’t even consider now in an Ethiopian context there is a person who is apolitical, whether acceptingly or not, and if there is, he/she is in denial or is not a properly functioning adult. Rather, ESFNA might not have allowed to give a platform for its past guest of honors to their liking to politicize, which can still be argued about. In my opinion if ESFNA move to invite Birtukan, to participate not to politicize, then the organization admonition humanity, which would bound the organization to higher grounds, rather than the hole it is now bounding itself into -by uninviting Birtukan.

  11. Shaebia on

    Just like the 16th century English king Henry VIII, Abnet looked doomed to die of nothing but exessive food and glutony. He looks bursting. He even got his cockrel-like ‘KULKUT’ hanging down his chin weighing down on him. With all his bodyguards around him, he shouldn’t worry about the general public……. his own medicine of excessive food and drink will saffocate him to death.
    This hodam is fast catching up with his sale-by-date label on him.

  12. Reported to IRS 6/28 on

    June 1st, 2008 | | 29 Comments

    A watchdog group has been formed to investigate corruption inside the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA). According to the group, which calls itself ‘ESFNA Watch’, board members of ESFNA are accused of under reporting earnings, exaggerating deductions and exemptions, and participating in questionable tax shelters. For details, click the groups web site,

    The person who started watchdog disappeared after he received treating phone call from ESFNA group. He had reported them to IRS and FBI in June 2008. The letter you send will open up another chance for FBI.

  13. refused to disclose on

    ESFNA has refused to disclose its annual returns to the public despite
    the United States Internal Revenue Code. Visit

    In the Name of Bringing Ethiopians Together .

    The United States Internal Revenue Code, CITE: 26USC6104 states the

    “Tax-exempt organizations must make available for public inspection
    their annual returns (Form 990) and applications for exemption (Form
    1023), and must provide copies of such returns and applications to
    individuals who request them. Copies usually must be provided immediately in
    the case of in-person requests, and within 30 days in the case of
    written requests.”
    Despite several requests, despite the United States Internal Revenue
    Code, The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America officials
    intentionally refused to disclose ESFNA’s annual returns to the public. If
    the federation officials did not have any thing to hide from the public,
    why did they refuse to disclose ESFNAs annual returns to the public?

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