Close
Log in
Please enter your login details

Skip to main content

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: