The competition which is being co-hosted at the FIFA-built National Technical Centre stadium and as well as the FIFA-refurbished facility Stadium Banadir has brought together some 14 teams which are represented by youthful teens.
Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab, who addressed at a colorful opening ceremony for the tournament on Monday, expressed his gratitude and appreciation that FIFA is giving much attention to the development of football in Somalia whose football capability is growing.
"This is the 3rd year running that FIFA is providing SFF’s Domestic Youth football League with both financial and material assistance. The organization of this event together with a number of youth football development programs we implemented in the country for the past several years have really contributed a lot to the growth of football in our country. Once again thanks to FIFA for helping us in our endeavors and ambitions to increase the football capability of our great nation of Somalia” SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab, said in his opening speech at the launch of the competition on Monday.
"FIFA has witnessed a huge football development in Somalia through the youth football programs and the Domestic Youth league which we first inaugurated in 2016 with the help from FIFA and as a result again FIFA awarded us with financial assistance and the equipment for the 14 participating teams for the 3rd year running” SFF president noted.
"It is in our schedule to hold this competition every year, but if we continue to get FIFA assistance for the event next year, then we be able to increase the number of participating teams to 16” Somali Football Federation (SFF) president, Abdiqani Said Arab, explained during his opening speech.
In 2016 the SFF started the Domestic Youth Football League with only 12 teams. Now it has been broadened to 14 teams and according to president Abdiqani Said Arab, the SFF is eying on a 16-team tournament next year.
However, the Domestic Youth Football League plus the grassroots and the youth football development programs were the causes of producing the talented Somali U-17 squad who made it possible for the country to reach its first ever CECAFA event final in April this year. The high profile performance of the Ocean Stars youngsters attracted the attention of the nation’s president H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who awarded SFF president, Abdiqani Said Arab, for the historic football achievement.
Somali Football Federation Media Department