Sport brings people together. The cheerful Oromo crowd in South Africa today is a good example of that. In the states, rarely do we see both sides (Oromo and other Ethiopians) cheering for the same team. We have separate sporting tournaments and federations.
For Ethiopia’s football fans in South Africa, the choice today was between OLF flag, the defacto Oromo flag, and the EPRDF (Ethiopia’s ruling party) flag. As you have said so eloquently, whether the Oromo and non-Oromo fans of Team Ethiopia displayed different flags didn’t matter. They both supported one team.
For far too long, at international sporting events and bazaars, a monolithic image of Ethiopia have been presented to the world. An Ethiopia with 3000 years of history that is still a christian island, has one flag, and speaks only Amharic.
But in reality, Ethiopia is a truly diverse nation with divergent aspirations and historical experiences. As a result, contending national sentiments (isms) have emerged. Under previous Ethiopian regimes, for example, the use of Afan Oromo in public spaces and government offices was banned.