Wednesday April 12, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - Hormuud Telecom, Somalia's leading telecommunication provider, has pledged a $20,000 donation to the Somali U-17 football team as they gear up for their maiden AFCON U-17 Tournament in Algeria later this month. The announcement follows the team's triumphant victory
in the CECAFA U-17 Championship in October 2022, defeating South Sudan 3-1.
In the upcoming tournament, the Somali U-17 squad faces formidable opponents
in Group A, including Senegal, Algeria, and Congo. The nation's football enthusiasts eagerly await the team's historic debut in the AFCON U-17 Tournament. The opening match
is set for April 29, when hosts Algeria will challenge Somalia at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.
Somalia's Minister of Youth and Sports, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, lauded the team's exceptional performance. The financial backing from Hormuud Telecom is anticipated to bolster the team's morale and resources as they tackle the challenges of the prestigious tournament. The event will span from April 29 to May 19 in the Algerian cities of Annaba, Algiers, and Constantine.
For the first time, the U-17 AFCON will showcase 12 nations, adhering to CAF's mission of promoting participation and providing increased opportunities for young players. The biennial U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, inaugurated in 1995, has witnessed heightened competition in recent years, with numerous countries developing strong teams and cultivating talented players who progress to successful careers at the club and international levels.
The team's participation in the tournament was jeopardized by a deadlock in the Somali Football Federation (SFF) leadership election. The Ministry of Internal Security suspended the election, prompting the U-17 team to appeal
to President Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre to resolve the issue. The impasse has since been settled
, with Ali Shiino formally acknowledged
as SFF chairman, restoring stability to the organization and securing the U-17 team's tournament entry.
The Somali Ministry of Youth and Sports is devising a national sports policy to guide athletics in the country, addressing challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, insufficient funding, and limited opportunities for athletes. The resolution of the SFF dispute and implementation of a national sports policy is poised to foster positive transformation in Somalia's sports sector.