The president of Somali Football Federation (SFF) Abdiqani Said Arab and members of the SFF executive committee, club authorities and football fans have seen the team off at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport on Tuesday.
"In CECAFA region, we several times experienced age-cheatings at youth competitions, so as a region we decided to produce talented kids to prepare them for the U-17 competitions in the next two years and that is where we are going to be "Somali Football Federation president, Abdiqani Said Arab told the media the airport prior to the team’s departure to Asmara on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, on Monday evening the chairmen of Horseed Sports Club Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed and Elman FC Abdirisaq Farah Omar [Goroje] met the national team at its training base to encourage the teens representing Somalia in the maiden CECAFA competition.
"You are representing every single Somali, you are carrying our name on your young shoulders. Show respect and love for all you will meet and come back with prestige” Horseed Sports Club chairman, Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed told the boys during Monday’s meeting at the National Technical centre where the team has been encamped.
"You are traveling abroad for a football competition, but there is another reason for your trip and that is the creation of friendship and integration for children in the CECAFA region through football, so I urge you to practise sportsmanship at all times” Elman FC chairman and the founder of Goroje Goalkeeping Academy Mr. Abdirisaq Farah Omar [Goroje] encouraged the boys.
Eleven countries from the CECAFA region will compete in the inaugural edition of the U-15 Championship. Those are: Somalia, Eritrea Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Sudan and Djibouti.
Somalia has been drawn in group A with Burundi, Kenya and hosts Eritrea. The Ocean Stars youngsters will take on Kenya in the opening match on 16 August at 2PM east Africa time. All matches will be played at Asmara National Stadium from 16 August to 01 September 2019.
Somali Football Federation Media Department