Somalia: Football At Last! League Kicks Off For First Time In Three Years.

Halkaan ka akhri

Fans have waited a long time in East Africa…

For three years, football has been on a backburner in this war-torn Horn of Africa nation but the Somali Football Federation (SFF) has officially relaunched  the country’s football championships.

The poor security situation in Mogadishu had caused the fans to go without football for over a thousand days and many attended the relaunch at the weekend.

The opening ceremony of Somalia’s 38th football championship was held at the  the Somali police academy in the presence of top government officials, SFF officials and other honorable guests including Somalia’s first-ever national football team captain Mohamed Qalaf Shangole.

SFF President Said Mahmoud Nur said that it was a very happy moment as the country’s soccer championship was

The president said he was very grateful to Joseph S. Blatter, as the FIFA boss had taken a close interest in how Somali football could develop amid such chaotic conditions.

“I am expressing my deepest gratitude to the father of world football Blatter who helped the Somali football federation work in this hardest period and I am saying with a loud voice that the Somali football federation will build a memorial statue in his remembrance,” said Nur.

Former captain Shangole is now 90 and said that he was very happy to speak at the opening ceremony of the country’s championship.

He urged young footballers, including some former child soldiers, to work hard so that they can defend the Somali flag in international football gatherings.

Mogadishu police chief Colonel Ahmed Hassan Maalin also addressed the gathering and pledged that hundreds of police officers will be on duty until the end of the championship in April.

Director General of the Somali Youth and Sports Ministry Saa’id Mohamed Hassan praised the SFF for their commitment to promote football activities in the chaotic country which has lacked a functioning central government for two decades.

On the pitcjh, the opening match between Gasco and Daallo airlines ended 0-0.

The Police Academy stadium is being used as Stadium Mogadishu, the largest in Somalia, is now home to hundreds of armed militants who use it as a recruiting base, while the reconstruction of the second largest facility Stadium Banadir hsd halted due to daily armed confrontations in the Abdel Aziz district where the stadium is located.

Source:  Goal

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