Somalia suspends chairwoman of national athletics federation

The chairwoman of the Somali Athletics Federation has been suspended, the Somali Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday, for choosing a “unskilled” female athlete to represent the nation at the FISU World University Games in China.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Olympic committee was instructed to take Khadija Aden Dahir’s action by Minister of Sports Mohamed Barre Mohamud.
According to the Somali Athletics Federation, Dahir has been placed on indefinite leave and is being investigated for “national defamation.”

“It is clear to the ministry that Nasra (Abukar Ali) is not an athlete, and that Mrs. Khadija committed an act of abuse of power and defamation of the nation,” the sports ministry said.

Mohamud apologized to the Somali people and described Ali’s performance as an “embarrassment.” “What happened today was not a representation of the Somali people,” he added.

Dahir was fired as result of Somalis criticizing and accusing the government of corruption and demanding answers from it. In the women’s 100-meter race at the 31st Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China, Ali, 20, came in last. Since it was posted on social media, video of her performance has amassed millions of views. Some Somalis criticized the Ministry of Youth and Sports on social media for sending “untrained” athlete to prominent event.

There have been allegations that Ali’s opportunity to participate in the games was fueled by nepotism .

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