Somalia’s National U-17 football squad in currently in the Sudanese capital Khartoum where the plane carrying them landed at Khartoum’s international airport at about 8PM last local time last night.
The Somali youngsters will play against their Sudanese counterparts in the preliminary round of CAF junior qualifier on Friday the 21st of September as scheduled.
“Both Somali and Sudanese football Federations agreed that we play one-leg competition, so the clash will be on Friday and if it ends in a stalemate then there will be penalty kicks and those who win in the penalties will qualify for the second round of the CAF junior qualifiers” Somali Football Federation secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab told the media in Mogadishu on Wednesday.
He said that because of Somalia’s current security situation the SFF couldn’t have hosted international matches at home and that is why both federations agreed on the one-leg match to be played in Khartoum.
“If the security situation in Somalia improves and the FIFA-funded construction on Stadium Banadir ends, we hope to host international matches at home in the near future” Secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab noted in his media briefing on Wednesday.
Somali delegation in Khartoum is under the leadership of Somali Football Federation executive committee member Ali Abdi Mohamed, while CECAFA finance committee member Amir Abdi Hassan is the team leader.
Somalia’s state minister for youth and sport Abdullahi Sheik Ali is also escorting the Somali youngsters in Sudan where he will hold meetings with Sudanese minister for youth and sport and other government officials during his stay in Khartoum.
“Both brother countries have long-existing bilateral relations and we will discuss on how to strengthen the already bilateral relations between Somalia and Sudan and in particularly the cooperation between sports ministries in Somalia and Sudan” the Somali state minister for youth and sports Abdullahi Sheik Ali told the media.
He said that Somali government was very grateful to the government and people of Sudan for the great hand they so far extended to the Somali people most notably the scholarship that Sudan grants hundreds of Somali students every year. “This is not something new but Sudanese scholarship grant to Somalia is decades of years old” state minister Abdullahi Sheik Ali noted.
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar