Football in Eritrea
After the game was introduced by Italian colonialists in 1930, football in Eritrea enjoyed its heyday during the 1970s, when around 155 teams took part in the national championship, which comprised three divisions and a youth competition. Eritrea has always had talented footballers and it is little wonder that in 1962, with the nation under Ethiopian control, 90% of the players in the Ethiopian squad that won the 3rd African Cup of Nations were of Eritrean origin. Following its independence in 1991, Eritrea immediately joined the regional and continental confederations. Each Eritrean national is obliged to carry out military service until the age of 40. In April 2002, the Eritrean military team won the football competition at the African Military Games in Nairobi (Kenya) and went on to represent Africa in the Military World Games in September 2003. Between 1994 and 2000, ten youth teams (boys' and girls' teams at U-11 and U-16 level) took part in the World Youth Games in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Austria, winning a total of 24 trophies.
The first Goal Project
At its meeting on 1 May 2003, the Goal Bureau approved a project to lay an artificial turf pitch at the Cicero Stadium in Asmara. The project will be financed in full by the Goal Programme. The new pitch will be a welcome addition to the previously scant facilities for the football-mad youngsters of Eritrea. In addition, courses should be held as part of countless development initiatives and national teams will have ideal conditions to prepare for international matches. Funds from the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme have already been used to renovate the Denden Stadium in Asmara. As a result, the national association will soon have several pitches on which it can play matches at both domestic and international level.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Artificial pitch, maintenance equipment for the Cicero stadium in Asmara
Project approved
1 May 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 Total cost USD 400,000