President of Somali Sports Press Association Travels to Austria

It was a travel of a very long distance and going through many countries which took several days until the president of Somali Sports press Association Mr. Abdi Aziz Godah Barre reached the scene of AIPS 75thconference in Innsbruck, Austria.

Since there are no international flight connections in war-torn Somalia, the president had to travel though neighboring Djibouti, then Paris, and then Munich before he reached the conference site late on Thursday.

“It was not something easy to go through such long distance,” said Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre who talked to local journalists via phone overnight on Thursday.

Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre in Innsbruck
Somali Sports Press Association President Abdi Aziz Godah Barre in Innsbruck

He praised AIPS and Austrian sports journalist association for the good organization and the top level hospitality.

“There is a lot of ice and I can see the ice about one meter above from the ground here in Innsbruck,” the president added.

He said despite the hard circumstances under which he has been working since SSPA came into existence in 1997, he is very proud of what he is doing for his country where some journalists are similarly arrested, tortured, extorted, robbed and killed.

The 75th AIPS conference will be under way in Innsbruck until the 16th of January. During the global conference Somali Sports Pres Association boss is expected to hold different meetings with AIPS president Gianni Merlo, President of the European sports journalists Union Yanni Darras, both Somalia’s close friends and other dignitaries. He will return in Mogadishu on 20th of January.

Founded in 1997, Somali Sports Press Association “SSPA” has been working hard in the war-weary horn of African country. The SSPA was the first journalist association to be established in Somalia and it has its own branch which lobbies for the rights of journalists, freedom of expression and the spread of democracy throughout all Somalia. The branch is called “Journalists and freedom of expression watch in Somalia “JOFEWSOM.”

innsbruck view
Innsbruck Traffic

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.