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Somalia plans to increase number of players from its Diaspora

Somali Diaspora team from Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: CECAFA)
by Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar, Member of Cecafa Media Committee

MOGADISHU, November 27, 2017 – The long-awaited dreams of a nation have come true after a football team from the Somali Diaspora community in the Southeastern Australian city of Melbourne, arrived in the country ahead of the launch of the first Somali Diaspora football event to be organized in the country in the summer of 2018.

The team arrived in the country on 18th of November and upon arrival at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport, they were warmly received by the deputy Mayor of the capital, Abdullahi Elmi Ereg and Somali Football Federation senior vice president, Ali Abdi Mohamed.

Somali Football Federation president Abdiqani Said Arab, thanked the Mayor of the capital Thabet Abdi Mohamed, for hosting the team in one of the country’s best hotels and which is even located in a stone’s throw away from Stadium Banadir where the Somali Football Federation has organized three friendly matches that the Diaspora team played against three teams in the country. In one of the matches it clashed against national league side Banadir Sports Club who defeated the expatriate team 2-1on November 22nd.

“It was our intention to invite teams from the Somali communities in London and Toronto in 2016, but due to the timing, we were unable to make that happen. The team from Somali community in Melbourne has been very fortunate to become the first Somali Diaspora team to be invited to the country. On behalf of the entire Somali Football Family, I would like to acclaim the Mayor of Mogadishu, Thabet Abdi Mohamed for his contribution to the game,” SFF president, Abdiqani Said Arab said in a statement.

From RIGHT: Somali Football Federation president Abdiqani Said Arab, Mogadishu Mayor Thabet Abdi Mohamed and deputy minister of sport Ahmed Omar Islaw. (Photo: CECAFA)

“Most of the team players were born abroad and have never seen Somalia before,” president Abdiqani Said Arab said, “so the arrival of football teams from the Somali Diaspora across the world is an opportunity for them to learn about their country and integrate with their people.

“So far we have been informed that some of them made friends here,” the president added.

“Another main objective for having football teams from the Somali Diaspora communities here in the country is that the SFF wants to pursue the talented players to include them into the national team. Previously we had our technical representatives in many countries whose job is to recruit footballers for the national team from the Diaspora, more notably the London-based coach Abdirashid Islow. They did well and they will continue their duties,” the president noted in his statement.

“This is a starting point and it will continue. Once again thanks to the mayor of the capital, Thabet Abdi Mohamed for his promise to pay all expenses for the summer 2018 tournament for football teams form Somali Diaspora across the world that will be held in Mogadishu. The Mayor’s office and the SFF are having a very healthy cooperative relationship and such beautiful cooperation will continue to grow,” president Abdiqani Said Arab, concluded.

Below are the fixtures and results of the friendly matches the Somali Diaspora team had with teams based in the country.

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