Djibouti vows equal opportunity for men and women in football.

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Women’s Day, the president of Djibouti Football Federation (FDF) and CAF executive committee member, Souleiman Hassan Waberi, said he seeks equality in football announcing that equal opportunity for men and women in football is something he prioritises.

The president made the announcement during an eventful Eight March Day celebration held at the national technical centre in the capital Djibouti on Sunday.

The declaration has cheered many football-loving women and girls across the country particularly those who attended the celebration at FDF headquarters.

“The international Women’s Day which is being celebration throughout the world today gives the FDF the opportunity to highlight its policy towards the development of women’s football in our country” president Waberi said during his address at the International Women’ Day celebration in Djibouti.

“On the occasion of Women’s Day I take this opportunity to send my best wishes and congratulations to all the women of the Republic of Djibouti” said the president who invited more girls and women to the FDF headquarters to celebrate with them.

The president said that for him, women’s football has much value and importance as men’s football does adding that equal opportunity for men and women in football is must under his leadership and that is why he asked expert Sarah M’Barek to take charge of Djibouti’s National Women’s team soon after Julien Mette took over the men’s site a year ago.

Mr Waberi who is in his second term as the president of Djibouti Football Federation (FDF) is regarded by women in his country as a great fighter for women’s football development the fact that he also increased the number of women’s involved in the administration of the game since he came to office.

Women and the FDF administration.

Currently women have a huge influence in the workforce of Djibouti Football Federation as they are seen in the top administration, accounting and the national football technical directorate, sports medicine department and competition management. There are also female commissioners who were several times in the past invited to international football competitions where they have been assigned as match commissioners and on top of that Djibouti has two well-qualified female instructors: Hasna Abdallah and Nima Khaireh.

Hundreds of women are now exercising in the senior national women’s league, the youth league and the schools championship, while the country has female national squads from junior to senior levels. All women’s football teams in Djibouti are mostly surrounded by female coaches, female technical instructors and female medical staff.

Refereeing.

In the refereeing sector, women are playing a big role as men do as in recent years the number of female referees and instructors have increased sharply under the leadership of president Waberi, who believes that women should be given the same opportunity as men have.

Each year the federation organises nearly twenty training courses of different levels for female referees. The president said that the increase of the training courses for women is part of his policy of lifting up women’s involvement in the game officiating.

By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar
In charge of FIFA, CAF and CECAFA for Djibouti and Somalia Football reporting.