Farewell Dinner for Ocean Stars Juniors Before Algeria Departure

The Somali Football Federation (SFF) and the Ministry for Youth and Sport hosted a farewell dinner for the Ocean Stars Juniors team ahead of their departure to Algeria for the TOTAL Energies Africa Under 17 Cup of Nations. The event was attended by government officials, diplomats, and members of the Somali football community.

Farewell Dinner Speakers, Sponsors

During the dinner, Abdihakim Mohamed Qasim, Head of Media and Public Relations of Hormuud Telecom, announced the company’s sponsorship of the Somali U-17 squad’s campaign for the tournament. “Hormuud Telecom is partly sponsoring the Somali Under 17 squad’s campaign for TOTAL Energies Africa Under 17 Cup of Nations,” he said.

The Somali ambassador to Algeria, Abdiwahab Moalim Mohamed, expressed the government’s support for the team and announced plans to send a large delegation to Algeria to encourage and boost morale. “If we are united, we will succeed,” he said. “I encourage both sides to continue such a high-profile cooperation.”

Lawmaker Mukhtar Ahmed Hassan pledged his support for the team, promising to campaign for them to receive a monthly salary if they qualify for the FIFA under 17 world cup. “Somali football federation made history when the team qualified for AFCON U-17 last year, and this year we hope they can achieve another milestone,” he said.

The Somali state minister for internal security, Mohamed Ali Hagaa, praised the joint efforts made by the ministry for youth and sports and the Somali football federation for Somalia’s qualification for the continental event. “That is a good way forward, and I thank both sides for the cooperation,” he said.

ocean stars juniors farewell dinner. Photo: Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar
Ocean Stars juniors farewell dinner. Photo: Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar

Former SFF President’s Goodwill Message

Somali Football Federation president, Ali Abdi Mohamed, delivered a message of greeting and goodwill for the national team from former president Abdiqani Said Arab. “Somalia and South Sudan will be representing the CECAFA region at the upcoming TOTAL Energies Africa Under 17 Cup of Nations. You are not only representing Somalia but also the greater CECAFA region,” he told the team members.

The president expressed confidence in the team and praised the joint efforts made by the SFF and the ministry for youth and sports. “We have made all the necessary preparations, and we have talented boys,” he said. “This is an enormous move forward because it will be the first time in history that a company in Somalia will promote its business to advertise with the national team.”

Hormuud Telecom Sponsorship

Hormuud Telecom announced it will contribute USD 20,000 to Ocean Stars juniors prior to their departure to Algeria for Total Energies Africa Under 17 Cup of Nations. President Ali Abdi Mohamed thanked the country’s biggest network provider for the support.

The president also called on other major companies and the Somali people to invest in the game. He thanked Premier Bank of Somalia, IBS Bank, and My Bank for being friendly with the Somali football federation.

Before handing over the microphone to the Minister for Youth and Sport, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, the president thanked Djahid Abdelwahab, the president of the Algerian football federation, for accepting his request to cover the team’s stay in Algeria for a period of six days starting from the 16th of April.

In his speech, the Minister for Youth and Sport wished the team success in the tournament and promised to take the team to the most sacred place in the world, Mecca Al Mukarrama, for pilgrimage if they qualify for the FIFA U-17 world cup.

The minister said, “Last year, you achieved a victory for Somalia and this year we count on your shoulders and we expect you to take Somalia to a higher position again.”

“Together we made that history and again we will achieve together. If you happen to make it to the FIFA U-17 world cup, Somali government will take you to the most sacred place in the world [Makka Al Mukarrama] for pilgrimage,” the minister told squad members.

Hassan Abdulqadir Mudei, a Hirshabelle State parliament official and Abdihakim Osman Diriye of Jeenyo football club also addressed the farewell dinner attendees, on behalf of SFF congress members.

Minister of sport, other ministers, and SFF president pictured with the national U17 team members. Photo: Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar
Minister of sport, other ministers, and SFF president pictured with the national U17 team members. Photo: Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar
Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Shafi’i has extensive experience in journalism, international relations, and football management. He is the founder of Somali Sports Press Association, a long-time sports journalist and a member of the International Sports Press Association.

Shafi’i has a Master’s Degree in international Relations obtained at De Montfort University in Leicester and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia journalism from the University of Northampton. The photo shows Shafi’i in action while at CAF Centre of Excellence in Cameroon.