The President of Somali Football Federation Abdiqani Said Arab became overwhelmingly full of hopes when the country’s football family members expounded much support for the president and his committee during a welcome ceremony they organized to salute him and was held at Dayah hotel in Mogadishu on Friday.
The welcome ceremony which gathered hundreds of football volunteers including the country’s most renowned legends was as known in history described the ‘first of its kind’ to be ever organized in Somalia as a welcome party for a football federation president.
Chairman of the DBG FC Bashir Salad Barre who spoke at the ceremony on the behalf of the congress reiterated that Somali Football stakeholders were committed to the promotion of the game in Somalia and will do everything in the capacity to help the elected federation officials.
Director General of the ministry for youth and Sports Dahir Abdi Abdullahi started his address with words of congratulations sent to SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab and his executive committee members and as well as the congress for electing an active and experienced young president.
“It is a great honour for the ministry of sport to witness such congregation which shows the eagerness and commitment by the Somali Football family members to make development” the director general told the welcome ceremony on Friday.
“On behalf of Somali government I thank you for your past activities and I affirm that sporting organizations were the sole institutions that were and still active and alive in the country since after the fall of Somalia” Mr. Dahir Abdi Abdullahi told the welcome party.
Haji Mohamed Ahmed Olow, one of Somalia’s well known football legends in 1960s said it was very pleasurable moment for him to participate in such meeting with old friends including some playmates they had enjoyed football together about half a century ago.
“This is a day of unity for the entire Somali Sporting family, as I see the ministry of sport, the Somali National Olympic committee, old players, fans and football stakeholders sitting together to expound support for the new SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab and his committee” the veteran footballer
told the ceremony.
Former Somali National Olympic committee president and current NOC honorary president Abdulkader Ibrahim Ga’al known as ‘Abkow’ whose speech was mostly about citing the past history suggested advice and ideas of how to make development to the new SFF executive committee under the leadership of president Abdiqani Said Arab.
The president of Somali NOC Abdullahi Ahmed Tarabi added that the recent election of Somali Football was a very beautiful job done by the stakeholders when they elected young and experienced president who has more knowledge in football administration.
“I praise the Somali Football Family members for organization such very important meeting to show exquisite support for the federation” the National Olympic committee president explained.
Somali Football Federation President Abdiqani Said Arab who finally addressed at the welcome party thanked the congress for giving him the chance to lead Somali Football for the next four years.
“I would like to thank the president of the world football body (FIFA) Mr. Joseph S Blatter and his committee for accepting the result of our election and sending a message of goodwill and congratulations to us in the early hours of the following day—not only felicitations, but president Blatter pledged for us his personal support and that of FIFA in general and that shows the position Somalia stands in FIFA” president Abdiqani Said Arab said in his address.
He said that the support and congratulations offered to him by CAF President Issa Hayatou, CECAFA and so many friendly FIFA member associations were very welcome and fully encouraging.
“I would like to thank the FIFA member association department for noticing us that some people sent to them forged documents by using the SFF letterhead illegally and as well as the names of the clubs without the knowledge of club owners and managers” the president noted during his address.
“We have transferred the case to the judiciary to ask them why they stole the letterhead of Somali FA and forged the names of the stakeholders” the president explained.
However, the president welcomed the offer by the old footballers, experts and former referee instructors including Mohiyadin Mahmoud Mohamed who was the referee instructor of Farah Addow. Those veterans in the attendance who contributed to Somali Football from 1940s included:
Mohiyadin Mahmoud Mohamed popularly known as (Farqajaan) who served as football referee between 1947-1970s and as well as Mohamed Farah (Dabdamis) and Haji Yusuf Mohamed Sheekh who served as referees in the years between 1970-1980s.
Football legends including some who played for Somalia in 1960s and some who represented the country until late 1980s were also present at the ceremony: They included: Haji Mohamed Ahmed Olow, Muridi Zein and Ahmed Abas Busuri.