First Mogadishu night-time football match in decades

2017-09-09 07:27

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu- Football fans in Mogadishu were preparing on Friday to cheer on their teams in the first night-time match since chaos descended on the Somali capital nearly three decades ago.

The tournament for 16- and 18-year-olds at the Konis Stadium, renovated by FIFA, will be played under tight security because of the constant threat posed by the Shabaab Islamist group.

"This is going to be a great moment for the country and football fans. It was in 1988 that the last night game was played in Mogadishu," said Omar Ibrahim Abdisalam, a spokesperson for the Somali Football Federation.

The federation hopes that if the game unfolds without a major incident, it will open the door to similar matches.

Hanad Gulled, a resident of Mogadishu, said: "It is a step towards peace and stability after so many years in the darkness. If Somalia can once again consider matches in the evening in Mogadishu, then we are not so far from returning to the former peaceful days."

However, Gulled said that for security reasons, he will watch the meeting on television.

Shabaab have shown in recent months that they have the capacity to carry out large-scale attacks in the centre of the capital, with vehicles stuffed with explosives or by armed commandos.

"It's a positive development, but as far as I'm concerned, it's better to watch the game on television than to go to the stadium," Gulled said.

Local journalists were enthusiastic.

"This is a first in 30 years and I really want to cover the game tonight, not only for the meeting but also for the fervour of the spectators who will be at the stadium for this historic evening," Abdifatah Arizona said.

Since the fall of President Siad Barre's regime in 1991, Somalia has been plunged into chaos and violence, supported by clan militias, criminal gangs and Islamist groups.

Shabaab want to defeat the fragile Somali central government, backed by the international community and the 22 000 troops of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

They were driven out of Mogadishu in August 2011 and later lost most of their strongholds, but they still control vast rural areas.

Read more on:    shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.