FIFA grassroots program for Somalia comes to an end

Somali Football Federation in collaboration with the world football’s governing body [FIFA] has on Wednesday 14th of December concluded a 5-day grassroots program which was the second of its kind to be held in the
country.

The course was attended by 21 coaches who were taught lessons about how to educate children through football and make them love the game. The course was conducted by FIFA instructor, Ulric Mathiot [Seychelles] assisted by
local instructors.

In his address at the closing ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Mathiot said he witnessed a lot of football progress in Somalia. From my experience when I first arrived in Somalia in 2013, I can see that Somalia
football is going up. I would like to acknowledge that Somalia is doing a greater work to develop its football and I am happy with that great approach” the FIFA instructor said.

He continued to say “I saw a team work and that is good for football development. I always see people working together and togetherness we reach our goals. Course participants were very determined and in the end I
am very happy that they know what exactly grassroots is and they are now ready to pass their knowledge to Somali children”.

“Somalia is doing a lot of progress and on behalf of FIFA I would like to announce that FIFA is committed to developing football in your country” he said adding he was very pleased to be back in Somalia for the second time
in three months.

The FIFA instructor said he was fully pleased with how the media in Somalia are committed to playing their role in the promotion of the game in their country. “I did conduct such courses in many countries and I have
never seen such big crowd of media representatives. I would like to thank the media for their role” he noted.

Somali football federation senior vice president, Ali Abdi Mohamed urged course participants to exercise what they learned from the course and try to get so many children into football as much as they can. “It is easier
for people to learn everything while they are very young than after they have grown up and that is why the grassroots program is very useful for football development” the senior vice president said before handing over the microphone to Somali FA president, Abdiqani Said Arab.

The president first thanked FIFA for giving Somalia the fourth opportunity in 2016 during which four different football development courses were held in the country. He then went on to thank the instructor, Ulric Mathiot for
always accepting to come to Somalia when suggested to him by FIFA.

“You always prefer to come to Somalia, because we know you love our people and I want to confirm to you that Somali people as love you as much as you love them. We still need you and we are hopeful that you will be with us
in the months and the years to come” SFF president told the FIFA instructor during his closing address.

“Grassroots program is where the football development is started from. Without knowledge it will be very difficult to develop football and to realize our dreams we always prioritize to increase our football knowledge” the president said adding that Somali FA was well-satisfied with the courses that Mr. Ulric Mathiot conducted in Somalia so far. The
president said that Grassroots courses at both FIFA and national levels will continue in the country.

Meanwhile on Tuesday 250 boys between 6-12 years took part in a football festival held at the National technical centre. During the festival the trained coaches exercised what they have learned and were practically
examined to see how they were capable of making the children love football.

“In the first day of the course, these coaches had no idea of what grassroots is, but now I can see that they benefitted more from the course and they did well to pass their knowledge to the kids” FIFA instructor, Ulric Mathiot told the media at the end of the festival.

By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar
Member of CECAFA Media Committee

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com