Somali FA Annual Congress Approves Major Moves Forward in 2013

Somalia, a country recovering from decades-long civil wars, currently sees a better football future, as the country’s football federation (SFF) stakeholders showed full satisfaction with the 2014 developmental strategy plus what has been recognized by the stakeholders as ‘unprecedented’ activities accomplished in the country, in the year 2013.

Those include: the implementation of the first ever FIFA grassroots coaching course for Somalia, a move that was part of FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter’s “develop the game, touch the world initiative” the reconstruction of Stadium Banadir and the arrival of top FIFA official in Somalia for the first time since 1986.

The congress was opened by SFF president Ali Said Guled Roble, while after the president’s opening remarks, the Somali Football federation secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab read the congress agendas in accordance with the statues.

Mr. Abdi Qani Said Arab outlined the SFF’s annual activity report which carried detailed information about the activities and the financial report for the year 2013, which were displayed on a screen fixed to the congress hall. He also disclosed the 2014 budget and the SFF annual plans as he explicitly answered scores of questions asked by stakeholders.

The local auditor also presented a full explanation of the 2013 Somali FA financial report.

“Dear honourable stakeholders, I hope you have got a common understanding about the 2013 financial report and the major moves we took forward during the year which you also have been witnessing though the year and we are very grateful to you for your help, as we couldn’t have approached such achievement without you” the SFF secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab said in his prolonged explanations for the 2013 activities.

He told the congress that in 2014, the international football governing body ‘FIFA’ will implement other major projects in the country as part of FIFA’s efforts to help the war-ravaged country’s football to fully recover from 22 years of lawlessness during which dozens of football volunteers including former president Said Mahmoud Nur, International referee Abdi Abdullahi and scores of other volunteers including players lost their lives in the country, where football was termed a ‘satanic’ act by Islamists.

“Dear honourable stakeholders, as you may have already been aware, FIFA has approved two other main projects for Somalia including another artificial turf that will be installed on the Somali University stadium, the construction of a technical centre and the SFF’s future headquarters – this will be the first time that Somali Football Federation will have its own centre, whilst the era of servicing at rented offices will have ended there” Secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab told the congress.

After the Secretary General’s hours-long report, the congress then started voting for the agendas including the constitutional amendment in particular the articles of 21, 32, and 84 within the SFF constitution.

After the proposal by the executive committee, the congress also approved Mr. Ali Abdi Mohamed as the SFF senior vice president to fill in the position which has been empty since the death of former SFF president on April 4, 2012. Mr. Mohamed has been executive committee member for the past several years.

However the congress unanimously approved the entire agenda discussed at the congress which continued through the whole day.

According to the amendments made by the congress, the future SFF executive committee will be reduced down to 9, while the current SFF executive committee is 13 members.

“In 2013 we really witnessed some tangible developments and as stakeholders, we are fully satisfied with the wide range of tasks achieved through the year and what is expected to be done next year, according to the activity plans read to the congress” said Mr. Bashir Salad Barre, chairman of DBG FC, on the behalf of stakeholders.

“What we are doing is all about football and as the country’s football stakeholders we are very grateful to FIFA and Somali Football Federation for the unprecedented achievements in the year including the reconstruction of Stadium Banadir which we deem as the most important move, because we fully needed such an international style facility” Mr Bashir Salad Barre told the congress, adding that the grassroots course was also a significant step forward which he said had so far yielded positive results in the country.

SFF President Ali Said Guled Roble who closed the congress thanked the stakeholders for their great role in the promotion of football in Somalia, urging them to redouble their long-existing efforts in a bid to help the SFF realize the rest of its long dreams.

“I know you are the ones who helped to protect Somali football from collapsing and while having that in mind, let us do stronger efforts to make our football the top most” SFF president Ali Said Guled Roble noted before announcing the closure of SFF annual congress, 2013. The next congress will be held in August 2014, as agreed at the end of the congress on Monday 30th of December, 2013.

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.