Somalis forget sound of bullets, as football strengthens peace and integration

The sound of bullets, the smoke and the flames of nearly weekly car bomb attacks in Somali capital Mogadishu, have been replaced with a peaceful atmosphere which allowed tens of thousands of football fans from across the country turn up for this year’s edition of the Somali Inter-State football tournament which opened at Stadium Mogadishu on Friday 29th of December 2023.

Galmudug State took on Hirshabelle State on Friday’s opening match of the event which is annually organized by Somali football federation. Mohamed Said Adam, put Galmudug in the lead in the 22nd minute of the match after a penalty kick was awarded to him ending the first half 1-0. Both teams lost several opportunities which could have been goals, but Hirshabelle equalized in the 80thminute when a beautiful kick from Yasin Abdirahman Yusuf touched opponent’s net.

The two week-long tournament seems to be in contest with the country’s national football league in terms of enthusiasm and attendance, as the capital’s hotels have been busy with thousands of fans who traveled from different regions.

Football strengthens peace and promotes friendship among people.

The president of Somali Football Federation, Ali Abdi Mohamed, said that his federation prioritizes the organization of the Inter-State football tournament once in every year, stating that the event strengthens peace in the country and promotes love and friendship among people in different regions.

“It is our duty to promote the game and we are doing it. Using football as a tool to strengthen peace and stability is our strategy which has so far been successful and thanks to the president of the nation Dr. Hassan Sheik Mahmoud, who has been in the front lines for more than a year to create the peaceful atmosphere we are enjoying nowadays” SFF president Ali Abdi Mohamed, said.

“Another objective for organizing the Inter-State tournament is to create a platform for the young Somali talents in abroad, so they can integrate with their brothers who live in the country. This year the competition is different from the previous editions as participating teams recruited young talents from across Europe. This has also made the event more competitive” Somali Football Federation president, Ali Abdi Mohamed, told the media during the opening ceremony of the tournament at Stadium Mogadishu on Friday afternoon.

The prime minister of the federal government, Hamza Abdi Barre, was invited to kick the first ball to inaugurate the launch of the 2023 edition of the Somali Inter-State football tournament.  The event was due to start on the 15th of December but has been postponed due to technical issues, according to Somali Football Federation competitions department.

Somali Football media department