Press release

Seifu Tadesse proud to represent Ethiopa and Africa on referee stand


Yitbarek Seifu Tadesse (left) helps check air pressure in the Mikasa volleyball during the FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship Peru 2011.

Lima, Peru, July 30, 2011 – The FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championship Peru 2011 has referees from all corners of the world, including locations where volleyball is just recently gaining popularity. A total of 16 referees are assigned to the tournament, and 10 are from countries not participating in this biennial world championship for players under the age of 20.

Yitbarek Seifu Tadesse is one such referee, hailing from the country of Ethiopia. He was appointed an FIVB international referee 10 years ago and has established himself as one of the top officials from Africa representing Ethiopia and the African Confederation (CAVB).

Live scoring, results, news and photos on FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship Peru 2011.

His career officiating volleyball matches started when he was young, and has blown his whistle for the past four decades.

“I probably officiated when I was too young, at age 17,” Seifu said. “I took the officials course in Ethiopia before I turned 18.”

Seifu explained that while Ethiopia may not be among the top ranked playing teams in the world, the sport is still very popular among the people of his native land.

“In my country, volleyball is very popular,” Seifu said. “The problem is they don’t have enough exposure.”

Outside of officiating volleyball matches, Seifu holds a master’s degree in sports science and is a professor at Ambo University, one of the biggest colleges in Ethiopia. In his free time, he has taken to the courts to referee volleyball.

By 2000, he was accepted as one of two international referee candidates by the FIVB. At the time, he was the second official at the international level from his country. Also in 2000, he was assigned to officiate both the men’s and women’s CAVB (African Confederation) championships.

“In Africa, there are so many good referees and I think the FIVB is paying attention and giving us a chance in big tournaments,” Seifu said.

In 2009 in Egypt, Seifu was appointed to referee the CAVB championship match. Prior to arriving in Peru for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championship Peru 2011, he whistled the 2011 CAVB Women’s Junior Championship.

“I represent Africa and my country at this tournament,” Seifu said. “I have met so many good referees here and so many things. I hope to be as good a FIVB referee as they are. I would like to appreciate my country’s volleyball federation and the CAVB confederation for providing these opportunities to me.”

The message being sent is that if you are good enough, the FIVB has a spot for qualified referees to officiate top international events regardless of your location or international play ranking of the teams.


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