The 2nd edition of Somali Inter-State football tournament has been shifted from would-be hosts, The Jubba land state to the capital Mogadishu, Somali Football Federation confirmed.
Following a letter from the southern Jubba Land State dated on 29th of November which stated that the regional state was unable to host this year’s event due to lack of adequate resources, Somali minister for youth and sports, Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab and sports ministers from the federal states convened at a lengthy meeting on the evening of Wednesday November 29 and finally agreed that the tournament be hosted at the FIFA-refurbished Stadium Banadir in the capital Mogadishu.
Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, said in a statement on Thursday that it has been agreed that the opening festival for the tournament be held on December 7 and the first match of the competition will be played on December 10 2017.
“The competition will gather six states and all teams are expected to be ready in Mogadishu on December 3. The inaugural edition of the competition was held in July last year and this will be the second year running we are organizing this very interesting football event” SFF president, Abdiqani Said Arab, said in his statement.
“The organization of such tournament is not an easy thing. We are getting a full help from the ministry for youth and sport. The cooperation between the SFF and the ministry for youth and sport makes a huge sense for us. Thanks to our minister Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, who is giving us the assistance we need, because she is fully satisfied with the work we are doing in the country” Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, said in his statement on Thursday.
The president explained why it was important for the SFF to organize the tournament. He said that hunting talented players from the participating teams, peace building, football development across the country and encouraging nationwide youth integration, are some of the main objectives for the organization of the competition.
On her side, Somali minister for youth and Sport, Honorable Khadija Mohamed Diriye, said that her ministry has done everything possible to have a beautiful competition done.
“As a minister, I am here to play a key role in the development of our sport. The leader of the country, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre are passionate about the game and are always on our side in all our endeavors towards the development of sport and youth empowerment in Somalia” Honorable minister Khadija Mohamed Diriye, said in anther release. “I would like to thank TIS+ for its full support” the minister said.
However, so far it has been confirmed that this year’s edition of the tournament will be shown live on the Somali National Television (SNTV) and two privately-owned sports news broadcasters: Astaan Sports and Mogadishu Cable TV.
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar
CECAFA Media Committee