Somalia seek diaspora support to rebuild sport

(InformAfrica) — War-torn Somalia is looking for personnel and player support from the diaspora to rebuild its shattered football infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, a top official said on Monday.

Players of Somali clubs vie for control of the ball during a tournament match in a field in Mogadishu. Photo: AFP

The Somali Football Federation (SFF) secretary Abdi Qani Said said the federation had appointed technical and administrative representatives in Europe and North America to work for them in the promotion of the sport in their respective countries.

“About ninety-five per cent of these representatives are former coaches and former national team players whose job is expected to yield positive results for Somalia’s future international football appearances,” he said in a statement.

Somalia is scheduled to play Ethiopia in the preliminary rounds of the 2014 World Cup in November, as well as competing in the annual CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania and the All Arab Games in Doha in December.

Abdi Gani said the federation would also seek to recruit young players from the diaspora to reinforce the national team which is currently in training in Mogadishu.

He said the appointed representatives would help in the recruitment and training of the players in their foreign bases.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the long civil strife in Somalia has forced about 14percent of its population to live outside the country, with most of the people having settled in Western Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Somalia have also been severely hit by the worst drought in 60 years which has affected ten million people in the Horn of Africa to leave their homes in search of food and water.

-AFP 

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