Minnesotans are no strangers to extreme weather. But a lot of Oromos who are in Little Oromia for the 2011 North American Oromo Festival are not enjoying the hot, humid, and sticky weather. Some players are undaunted by it. “We are from the Mile High City and Rocky Mountains, this is nothing”, remarked a Burqitu of Denver player as his team made the entry into the field for their first game. This being a feeling of youth invincibility, most of the soccer fans could simply not enjoy their favorite game owing to the heat and humidity. An elder remarked “I feel like I am in an expansive sauna.”
The Oromo Sport Federation in North America (OSFNA) is a non-profit organization established sixteen years ago to organize annual soccer tournaments. This year, sixteen teams from around the states and one from Canada are competing for a championship that will be played on July 24, 2011. On the opening day, six teams made the debut at James S. Griffin Stadium in Saint Paul. Utaa Wayyu of Minnesota won a spectacular game against the 2007 champs Mada Walabu of Seattle scoring 4 to zip.
Despite a disappointingly low turnout, the opening ceremony was colorful. A performance by Oromia Youth Association’s dance troupe was followed by a reading of proclamations issued by mayors of the Twin Cities – Saint Paul & Minneapolis. Chai Lee, Constituent Service Representative for Saint Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman, read his city’s proclamation while Tashite Wako read Minneapolis’. In the evening, Finfinne (also from Minnesota) played against Abdi Saba of Denver winning 2 to 1. The final game of Day 1 between Burqitu and OU Gold (of Minnesota) was tied at 2-2.