Mogadishu mayor apologizes after Somali national team ‘abandoned’

Last week, Somalia’s Under-17 national football team made history by reaching the final of the regional Cecafa football tournament in Burundi.

The team beat Uganda 1-0 in the semifinals to face Tanzania in the final which was held on Sunday, 29 April.

Unfortunately for Somali football fans, the team from the Horn of Africa country was beaten 2-0 by the Tanzanian side in a match played at a waterlogged stadium.

Despite the loss, the Somali team were hailed as heroes and praised back home.

The president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, even gave the team a telephone call and congratulated them on reaching the final.

But as the team returned to Mogadishu on Tuesday, Somali leaders were accused of abandoning the national heroes.

Well-known Somali journalist Jamal Osman shared a photo on Twitter appearing to show a group of young men preparing to board a tuktuk,

Mogadishu mayor Abdirahman Yarisow even apologized for the treatment the boys received in Mogadishu.

“I am very sorry that the players had board a tuktuk from the airport. We prepared buses and organized supporters to receive the team. We book Hotel Sahafi for them as well. The government must get to the root of how this was allowed to happen, ” he tweeted.

This was the first time Somalia had played in the final of an international football tournament.
Somali national football sides have made steady progress over the years despite the difficulties facing the country.
In 2017, the Somali Football Federation (SFF) said it plans to host international matches beginning this year due to improved security.
Somalia lie at the bottom of the latest FIFA world ranking.

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