In the wake of the deadly truck bomb attack in Somalia, we’re going to take you to Mogadishu, and tell beautiful stories on the state of Sport in the Horn of Africa nation, and its contribution towards peacebuilding.
Yes! Somalia does have a professional national football league, that comprises of 10 football clubs. The 2016/2017 season of the league ended on 03 August and it saw Mogadishu based club Dekedaha FC claim the title.
Somalia’s sport infrastructure has suffered great damage over time, since the the start of the civil war in the early 1990s. The 65,000 capacity Mogadishu Stadium was one key facility that was severed. The stadium was used as a base by various armed factions and remained under the control of militants.
In August 2011, during the Battle of Mogadishu (2010–2011), the Somali National Army (SNA) backed by AMISOM troops recaptured the capital and stadium from Al-Shabaab militants, By 2015, renovation works on the stadium had begun.
The Banadir Stadium has been recently improved to a possible capacity of nearly 15,000 spectators. The stadium had also been destroyed during war, but later it was rebuilt by FIFA’s “Win in Africa with Africa program” and has since been hosting football games.
Friday September 8 was also a historic moment for Somali football as we reported here on Africanews. Somali football fans had a thrilling treat of football under floodlights when the first night-time football match in 30 years was played in the Banadir Stadium which is the country’s oldest stadium.
You should also know that Somalia has produced double Olympic champion Mo Farah, although now he flies a British flag.