Djibouti youngsters romp through to Arab youth tourney semis
Djibouti’s U-17 football squad booked their place in the semi-finals of the Arab youth football tournament, which is currently under way in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
The Youngsters shared points with Qatar, after their hotly-contested match ended in 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Earlier, the boys humiliated their Mauritanian rivals by 4-3 in the opening match of the tournament which was played on 20th of October,
The Djiboutian youngsters, who are now classified as one of the strongest teams in the competition, have made a good approach and so far stories about them have been circulated in the news headlines around the region.
For the past two years, the youthful team has been under daily training sessions since they were short listed from school tournament some 20 months ago.
In his post election address on November 10 2012, the Djibouti Football Federation president Souleiman Hassan Waberi announced football development plans in particularly to build football from the bottom in a bid to hunt young talented players from inter-school and regional levels tourneys.
In December 2013, the youthful boys had trained in Doha for two weeks to help them catch up with the weather in Qatar, as the Gulf state was preparing for hosting the youth tournament.
“As I pledged two years ago, my policy toward football development in Djibouti targets school children and boys as young as 12 or 13, because educating children under football is part of building football knowledge from the bottom” the FDF president Souleiman Hassan Waberi told CECAFA Media.
The president pledged bonus for the boys if they win the tourney adding that finishing 2nd is also a good result, but he was very hopeful that the youngsters may win the trophy.
Meanwhile, in the capital Djibouti, hundreds of football fans have been seen in the streets to celebrate the historic approach made by their U-17 boys.
The fans were chanting positive slogans, while waving the country’s national flag, before they finally gathered outside the FDF headquarters in the city centre.
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar