FIFA MA course for Somali referees begins in Mogadishu

Somalia’s elite football referees are attending a FIFA MA refereeing course organized by the Somali Football Federation under the auspice of the world football’s governing body [FIFA]

The country’s minister for youth and sports, Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, was honored to inaugurate the five-day course which has brought together some 30 referees including national and international levels.

The course is being conducted by technical instructor, Felix Tangawarima [Zimbabwe] and fitness instructor, Mbacke Mademba [Senegal].

Instructor Mademba, who addressed at the launching ceremony of the course, said that arriving in Somalia was a very mentionable moment of pleasure for him. “We are here to lead this course for the elite referees in Somalia. I took a good decision to arrive in Somalia and I am very happy to be here, I am sure I will come back to Somalia once again” Mademba, said.

President of Somali Football Federation, Abdiqani Said Arab, who delivered a short address at the opening of the course extolled FIFA under the leadership of President Gianni Infantino and as well as CAF for continuously supporting the development of football in Somalia.

He went on to acclaim the Somali minister for youth and sport, honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, for playing a huge role in Somalia’s football development, adding that without the minister’s encouragement and backing it would have been more difficult for the SFF to make greater achievements.

The president said that Somalia has been able to hold its FIFA courses at home since 2013. “We are very happy that many instructors from across Africa came to Somalia since then” president Abdiqani Said Arab, noted in his address.

On the other hand, the president thanked the two FIFA instructors, Felix Tangawarima [Zimbabwe] and Mbacke Mademba [Senegal] for coming to Somalia to deliver their knowledge to the country. For Tangawarima, it is the second year running he is arriving in Somalia, while Senegal’s Mademba is new to Somalia.

On her side, the minister for youth and sports, Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, said that Somalia is now having a big change of peace and development, adding that the organization of such international level courses was very important for the country which is hugely recovering from years of conflicts.

“Football is one of the key pillars for the development and peace building of our country. We have recently witnessed that Somali football Federation organized a nighttime football match which was the first in more than three decades. This was a tangible move forward” the minister said.

“As you know CAF president Ahmed Ahmed arrived in Somalia a month after his election and that was because of the great cooperation between the ministry and Somali Football Federation which also develops high profile relationships with FIFA and CAF” Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, explained.

“As a government we are planning to invite the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino and that invitation will be done through the Somali Football Federation which is the FIFA-affiliate in Somalia” the minister said before announcing the launch of the course.