Politicking Eritrean Cycling Success

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The mainstream media has been unfairly allergic to Eritrea’s chronicles in the arena of sport, especially cycling. If politics and sport mix, no one wins. Whether the western media like it or not, the stories of Eritrea’s success in sport will be told over and over again and in the end the whole world will see the true image of Eritrea through its indomitable athletes.

By Yosief Abraham Z.,

It has been already informed the commencement of the 2016 Tour of Eritrea and amid the various media-outlets tides concerning Eritrea, unintentional activities of propagating Eritrea’s chronicles in the arena of sport with political matters have been common.

Starting from Sudan Tribune which abandoned celebrating Eritrea’s inescapable success with its report of “Young flee to neighbor country” while Eritrea was shining in Tour de France last year, others like the Washington Post also delved deep to join the trick of politicking even attractive sport activities for entertaining their own agenda.

With Adam Taylor’s attempt to digest the Economist vague words to underscore Eritrea’s honoring cycling history as “unofficial fifth state-sanctioned religion”, Adam chose politicking his reports regarding to the undeniable success of Daniel Teklehaimanot in Tour de France on July 10, 2015. And with a crippled opportunity to deny this success, Dan Connell even enabled to testify the results with his words that “it is what is.”

For armoring Adam’s tricks to mix politics and sport reports, the Toronto Star chose pasting Washington Post’s narration. What Toronto Star made in a bid to attract other quarters’ attention is entitling the article “Africa’s North Korea Starts at the Tour de France.” Thus, the topic seems as if to report about sport; the stream, however, engulfs us to read about skeptical views concerning the achievement of Eritrea for the Millennium Developmental Goals.

But why novice and professional reporters favor mixing sport and political games simultaneously? The first fact is that the reporters’ or the Media-hubs whim to influence their own overt and covert objectives determines how they would craft their reports. In history, we remember the most infamous declaration of politics and sport which was triggered by a Football War between El Salvador and Honduras.

As archives testimony, twelve days after the second-leg game, Honduras broke diplomatic relations with El Salvador and on July 14, 1969, the Salvadoran army launched an attack against Honduras. And emboldened by the Organization of American States, both countries negotiated a cease-fire which took effect on July 20, with the Salvadoran troops withdrawn in early August.

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Even we may remember Keith Fimian who played for the Cleveland Browns, sought a House seat from Virginia; and former Washington Redskins’ Clint Didier sought a Republican nomination for Senate in Washington State; and supported by his influence in sport, and resultantly, only Runyan won the election.

And in the case of Eritrea, out of such past notions applied in creating an opportune ground for creating stability and solidarity, even students who are requested to document a few points regarding Sport, Culture and Society prefer to magnetize deleterious figures by mixing various issues. For instance, a blogger for Maatschppij posted his article which he presented for Amsterdam University in autumn 2015. While crafting his article as sport tag, he then failed to the trap of framing the success of Eritreans in the sport arena with his crippled politicized article. That is why he amid such narrations attempted to tell us ‘Cycling as an apparatus of escaping from the Eritrean society.’ In fact, he might have been awarded ‘A’ by the Amsterdam University which was in-fact a novice writer content for me.

From sociological perspective, sport and politics can be influenced each other. In the 1970s, for instance, the “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” that followed the encounters arranged between American and Chinese players enabled the situation to be unfrozen and paved the way to a dialogue between two countries. The 2010 “Friendship and Development” CECAFA which was hosted by Eritrea by itself archived a vital insight into this familiar phenomenon.

In fact, this 2016 Tour of Eritrea has already started paying its wonders to members of the participant teams. In Eritrea, the notion is peculiar; it is not like as what had just happened in embarrassing way to Debra Coil who stated that “throughout his 23 days in Ethiopia was whipped with a bullwhip, slashed at with a machete, had gravel thrown in his face, and rocks of various sizes hurled at him from all directions.” In Eritrea, the children are busy to express their warm greetings and ride their bicycles.

And at last, the defaming part of the Guardian which was enforced to add positive images of Eritrean success in the sport arena when Eritreans shined in the 2015 Tour of Eritrea has at last proved that mixing politics and sport is aimed at entertaining their own injudicious agenda after reporting why cycling in UK—against the direction of Eritrea—is stagnating.

In fact, the Guardian chose publishing the aforementioned politically fermented article in a bid to throw Eritrean sport chronicles to the lowest ranks as triggered by the oppression of the Eritrean Government. But concerning to England, the Media-outlet chose to report it as peoples’ choice.

As the claim of Ethiopia’s and Wikipedia’s neglecting-approach to edit the politicked article to claim even Eritrean winners of the 1968 summer Olympics as Ethiopians, yet, this is an evidence that quarters and individuals’ who will attempt to create various ramifications for mixing sport and politics will continue when they fill it is a good pill for the resurrection of their deadlocked media skeletons.