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Somali govt. pledges ‘end to AU troop presence’ at soccer facility
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Somali govt. pledges ‘end to AU troop presence’ at soccer facility

With the Somali Football federation still struggling to get the country’s national facility ‘Stadium Mogadishu’ back into its hands from the AU military occupation, the country’s federal government pledged to end the AU troop presence at stadium Mogadishu. Deputy Minister for sport Bashir Mohamed Jama announced the pledge during a joint visit by the ministry and SFF officials to the site on Monday.

The visit was part of the SFF campaign to have the facility free from military once again. After the hours-long visit the deputy minister and SFF secretary General held a joint press conference to give details of the importance of Monday’s visit to the Chinese-built facility.

"Today honourable deputy minister Bashir Mohamed Jama and Somali Football Federation officials paid a joint visit to Stadium Mogadishu to inspect this soccer facility and the entire sports village in a bid to know the real situation of the sporting facilities" the Somali Football Federation Secretary General told the media after the inspection has completed.

He noted that the ministry of sport accepted the call to end the African Union troop occupation at all sporting grounds where the ministry of sport and Somali Football federation want to be used for sports purposes once again.

"The SFF announces here that there is a very developed cooperation between the country’s ministry of sport and Somali Football Federation, SFF recognises that no goals can be achieved without the joint work by the ministry and the country’s football Federation" secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab told the media.

He praised the ministry for announcing to give Somali football federation a land space in the city centre where the SFF intends to build its headquarters this year.

For his part deputy minister for sport Bashir Mohamed Jama who was leading the delegation of high profile sporting officials told the joint press conference that he was very happy to do such visit to stadium Mogadishu a long with the Somali football Federation officials.

"I would like to announce here in front of you that the ministry is committed to respecting the rules and regulations of sport both locally and internationally and as a ministry we will do all possible assistances to the Somali Football Federation—please feel free to ask us all you need and we will help you as much as we can" deputy sports minister and former football referee Bashir Mohamed Jama told the media.

He thanked Somali Football Federation for the huge activities it is carrying out in the country including the reconstruction of the country’s old facility ‘Stadium Banadir’ with the assistance from the international football federation FIFA.

On behalf of the ministry of sport Mr. Bashir Mohamed Jama told the Somali Football Federation officials that his ministry will offer them a land space in the city centre where SFF will build its new headquarters. Now the SFF is based at a four-story building in the centre of Mogadishu but it wants to build its own headquarters.

Meanwhile, the deputy minister noted that they had established contacts with Chinese government which he said principally accepted to rebuild Stadium Mogadishu and other formerly china-built Somali government institutions.

"Although china accepted our demands principally, the matter is still under process, but we will invite SFF and Somali NOC to our next meeting with China to finalize the talks and to begin the reconstruction of the destroyed government institutions" Deputy sports minister Bashir Mohamed Jama told the media Monday.

However the deputy minister was accompanied by his director General Aweys Sheik Hadad and other ministry officials, while Somali FA president Ali Said Guled Roble, Secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab, executive committee member Ali Abdi Mohamed and deputy secretary General Abokar Islow Hassan were representing the Somali FA in the visit.

By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar

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