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Somalia Remembers Slain International Soccer Referee

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Somali Football Federation has concluded a four-day long memorial events intended to remember former international assistant football referee Abdi Abdullahi Alasow who was killed by unidentified assailants in Mogadishu three years ago.

The memorial service started with football games on 4th of April, the same day that the former international football assistant referee was killed in Mogadishu while on his way to his office.

The memorial service was attended by high level government and Somali sporting officials including Somali NOC president Aden Hajji Yeberow, Somali football federation president Said Mahmoud Nur, Somali deputy minister for finance and former footballer Sheik Muktar Shute, Director General for Somali youth, sports and labor ministry Aweys sheik Haddad and other high profile individuals.

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The Somali football federation president Said Mahmoud Nur said that his federation and the entire Somali football family members are still saddened with the sudden death of the former international referee.

"It was early morning on April 4 2008 when our great colleague Abdi Abdullahi had seen off a delegation lead by me at Mogadishu airport on our way to Djibouti, but it was a very sad experience when a colleague called me in the evening and informed me that Abdi Abdullahi was killed in Mogadishu," SFF president said.

He said that the slain international assistant referee was one of the few individuals who helped Somali football recover in early 1990s. He was an active member of the Somali football referees association.

"Whenever I remember him, tears of agony just follow down on my cheeks. What an unforgettable man he was!" the SFF president said.

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The NOC president affirmed that the Olympic committee and its federations have been working in a very critical situation and will continue the good job what ever problems they face.

"Today in one way we are very sad because we are remembering a man who was great in our hearts, but in the other way I am happy because still we have the chance to remember the beloved ones we have lost in this chaotic condition in Somalia," the Somali NOC president told the memorial service.

For his part the director General of Somali youth, labor and sports ministry Aweys Sheik Haddad said that his ministry is commending the Somali football federation for the widespread activities in the lawless country.

"Today we came here to remember our lost brother. On behalf of my ministry, we are really very satisfied with the great job that Somali NOC and its federations of which the football is major are doing here," said the director general who finally handed over the microphone to the deputy finance minister Sheik Muktar Shute.

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Mr. Shute said that the young leadership of Somali football federation is praise-worthy for the good job they are accomplishing in Somalia.

"For nearly two decades I have been absent from the country, but I always read in the news headlines that football competition was held in Somalia or the national team traveled abroad for international matches. It was really an amazing thing to me. Many times I asked my self how such job can be done in Somalia, but today I really see with my eyes that some patriotic people really existed," he said.

"Wars are taking place and in the meantime football tournaments are under way. I actually confess that a good job is being done in here," said the deputy minister who promised that Somali government will give a particular consideration to Somali sporting organizations.

April the 4th was recognized as Somali football referees' day. Each year the Somali football federation holds memorial service the same day that Former international assistant referee Abdi Abdullahi Alasow was killed in Mogadishu.

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Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

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