Passionate football fans gathered in Melbourne earlier this year for the Oromo Sports Federation Australia’s (OSFA) Oromo Soccer Tournament, an annual event which has been looked back on by Football Victoria as a resounding success.
Originally set to take place in July 2020, the tournament was delayed due to enforced lockdowns and restrictions invoked by the COVID-19 epidemic. The event ended up taking place at Kensington’s J.J. Holland Park between December 30th and January 2nd of this year.
The OSFA represent the Oromo diaspora in Australia with the intention of fostering a communal connection in Melbourne and across the country. The Oromo people are a group who hail predominantly from Ethiopia and Kenya, countries where football is undoubtedly the number one sport.
Featuring teams Victoria-wide, the tournament brought together a huge contingent of enthusiastic football participants and fans, all of whom relished the opportunity to come together through a celebration of culture and a shared love of the game.
The tournament’s running was a testament to Football Victoria’s dedication to promoting diversity and multiculturalism, as the state’s footballing body provided equipment such as match balls, bibs and other gameday items which ensured the event’s organisers were well supported and prepared.
OSFA President Fatah Harun was delighted by the tournament’s outcome, acknowledging Football Victoria’s assistance in assuring that the tournament could go ahead.
“We really appreciate Football Victoria’s hard work, commitment and dedication to helping the Oromo Sports Federation’s soccer tournament. It was a huge success, especially with the COVID-19 restrictions in place,” he said.
“We thank Football Victoria for everything you have done. Our community was delighted and we cannot wait to work with you in future endeavours!”
Football Victoria’s Executive Manager of Growth & Inclusion Karen Pearce extended her congratulations and praise to the Oromo Sports Federation, whilst promising continued support of the tournament in the future with the intention to see it grow.
“Football Victoria is proud to be able to play a small part in this tournament as it reflects our core values of being an inclusive sport, as well as providing football pathways for people from the Oromo Australian Community,” she said.