Log in
Please enter your login details

Skip to main content

Breaking News
  • President-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker says he will present an EU investment programme of 300 billion euros before Christmas – REUTERS
  • Islamic State campaign against Yazidis in Iraq “may amount to attempted genocide”, says UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights – REUTERS
  • USA: Ebola patient Ashoka Mukpo is free of the virus and will leave hospital in Nebraska on Wednesday – REUTERS
  • Canada raises its terrorism threat level from low to medium because of a rise in “general chatter” from radical Islamist groups – REUTERS
  • Brazil election poll shows President Rousseff with 52 percent of valid votes and Aecio Neves with 48 percent ahead of October 26 runoff – DATAFOLHA

The Banadiir stadium in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was built in 1956, four years before the country’s independence from Italy.

Only until recently it was under the control of al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based cell of al-Qaeda.

Their time their is still clearly visible as bullet holes pepper the surrounding stands and walls.

But things in the previously war-ravaged city and certainly the stadium are slowly but surely changing.

Since the Somali National Army kicked the al-Shabaab militants out of Mogadishu and other towns and cities, with support from the African Union Peacekeeping Force, football’s world governing body FIFA has returned after a 25-year absence.

With FIFA’s return the country’s aspiring footballers have also been back in action.

Kids between the ages of 6 and 12 were treated to an afternoon of fun and games at a football festival organized by the body in conjunction with the Somali Football Federation.

The football camp is the finale of a five-day grass-roots training course by FIFA for local coaches in the Horn of Africa nation.

Awil Ismail, is the Technical Director of the Somalia Football Federation and said: “Somali youth are good in technique but the problem that we have since we have been at war for a long time. There has been a gap; in my point of view I hope that the coming years we will be better. Because we are now have some stability.”

After years of sport being banned by the ousted al-Shabaab, kids can now enjoy a good kick around again.

And FIFA’s return to the war-torn country and the training course on a brand new artificial pitch at the Banadiir stadium is an encouraging step in helping to bring football in Somalia back to life.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

More about: