First Vice- president and Head of International Relations, Somali Sports Press Association
MOGADISHU, January 27, 2010 - The Somali minister for water and mineral resources General Abdi Hassan Awale (nicknamed Qeybdid) has called on the top leaders of the Somali government to use football as an element to pacify the lawless country and disarm child soldiers exploited terrorists.
During his address at a welcome ceremony held for the Somali national football squad late on Monday the minister asked president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid to give football the first priority when it comes to disarm and rehabilitate child soldiers in Somalia, saying that football is a powerful sporting event and will help create peaceful Somalia.
“For the past 20 years I have been busy in sport, I have full understanding of football and I am sure it will help in pacifying the chaotic country where terrorists are using thousands of child soldiers to continue destabilizing the lawless nation and the whole horn of African region,” the minister stated, adding that Football for Peace programs would be an ideal platform for this.
“I urge the Somali government to initiate fund raising programs to assist the Somali Football Federation (SFF)," the minister said, adding that he will be the first to make a donation.
He also called on the donor nations specially those interested in Somalia including the United States, the United Nations peace and sports development department to invest in the SFF.
“The Somali National football team has been training in a police compound and they were victorious against Djibouti, so can you imagine how they would fare with an international-style facility like Stadium Mogadishu? I am sure they would have defeated all Africans," General Qeybdid hoped.
In April last year the Somali Olympic Committee presented a high level special recognition award to the former Somali police boss and current government minister General Qeybdid for his decades-long contribution to Somali sport and fight against drugs,