The president of the Somalian Federation of soccer,Abdiqani Said Arab has invited the Islamists militant group, Al-Shabaab to participate in the nation’s Soccer championship
He said the image of soccer abolishes borders between people. The Somalian soccer boss said he intends to use the means to get closer to the various factions in the country. “Thanks to the federative virtues of soccer” he said.He noted that the game of football can bring everybody together without any exclusiveness.
Arab told BBC correspondent that he has no problem having Al-Shabaab participate in the various competitions organized by the federation… “We are not against them and they are not against us,” he said.
Soccer is a very popular sport in Somalia. The very first match of the local championship was recently broadcast on the country’s local television. An event which attracted high profile personalities.
He noted that other rival militants in the country would also be interested in the beautiful game of soccer.
Soccer Yes! But in Trousers
The fact remains that the practice of soccer remains particularly in zones controlled by the Islamists who promote Sharia. Here, athletes are forced to wear clothes which cover their legs before venturing to the field.
However, the activities of the men of Oumar Abou Oubaïda have reduced over the years since they were dislodged from Mogadishu by the strengths of the African Union in 2011.
The game of Soccer recently resumed in the capital when the reconstruction of the stadium began in 2014.
The infrastructures in the stadium had been destroyed five years ago by Al-Shabaab’s attacks. A memory the local people in charge of soccer intend to erase as quickly as possible.
Somalia plans to participate in the African Nations cup in 2019.