FIFA Supports Somalia Football

Posted August 21st, 2013 at 11:40 am (UTC-4)
6 comments

Somali boys play football at Mogadishu’s popular Lido Beach.
Photo: Reuters

World football’s governing body, FIFA, recently organized a five-day training program to help develop the sport in Somalia.

The football festival in the capital, Mogadishu, was attended by more than 30 coaches and 300 children.

During the clinic, local coaches learned basic training techniques with the hope of improving the skills of young Somali footballers.

Football is a popular sport in Somalia and throughout Africa.
Photo: AP

Ulric Mathiot, a FIFA instructor from Seychelles, says “The Beautiful Game” can grow in Somalia.

“Now we hope that the Somali Football Federation, they can have a long time vision or long time program, where they can bring this sort of activity all around the country,” says Mathiot, “in fact in as many regions as possible. So touching as many kids as possible from six to 12 years old.”

FIFA is again kicking off training programs in Somalia after suspending them for two decades because of war.

Awil Ismail, the technical director of the Somali Football Federation, says the conflict stunted soccer development.

Somali players in action during a training session in the capital, Mogadishu.
Photo: Reuters

“Somali youth are good in technique, but the problem that we have is we have been at war for a long time,” says Ismail. “There has been a gap. I hope that the coming years will be better. Because we now have some stability and we have grassroots courses that FIFA has helped us with. So in the future, I hope that we will be one of the best in east Africa.”

For now, though, Somalia has one of the weakest teams in Africa.

The Ocean Stars of Somalia are ranked 52nd out of 54 African teams in the August FIFA rankings.

Somali players and officials are hopeful these type of FIFA training programs are laying the groundwork for a brighter football future.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

6 Responses to “FIFA Supports Somalia Football”

  1. segun Adeyemi says:

    ”The Beautiful Game” can grow in Somalia! What a beautiful statement!

    Thanks, FIFA, for seeking to revive the game in Somalia, and thanks to Sonny for bringing this effort to the world.

    Let the ”Ocean Stars” Shine again!!!

  2. Sonny Young says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Segun! And MORE GREASE to your sporty elbows in Lagos!

  3. Stephen says:

    Agreed, it is high time Somali football was duly recognized.

  4. A good positive move for Somalia football.

  5. Joshua Zenit says:

    More like it, FIFA!

  6. tyoapine.joseph says:

    its a good news 4 de piple of somalia n de entired africans thanks fifa 4 unvailing de ban

Leave a Reply

About

Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

Brighten your day by tuning in the Sonny Side of Sports!

» Listen to the latest show

Facebook

Latest Videos

Contact

E-mail
sonny@voanews.com

Telephone
+1.202.205.9942
When you hear the VOA identification press 60

Postal Mail
Voice of America
Room 1613
330 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20237
USA

Archives