Somalia government and Congress members have intervened to halt planned parallel elections organised by rival Somali Football Federation officials.
It took the Internal Security ministry directions to end plans to hold the two parallel elections which had been scheduled for 1st February in Mogadishu at the Elite Hotel organised by acting President Ali Abdi Mohamed and Jazeera Hotel for oppossing officials backing Wish Haji Yabow son to former Basket Ball Federation President Aden Haji Yabow.
At least 20 members of the Congress that will vote in the new President have accused Mohamed of plotting a “rigged elections”.
His opponents blame foreign hands in the current impasse with Djibouti Football Federation boss Souleiman Waberi mentioned on several occassions as pushing for a Mohamed come back.
Waberi came to the picture in matters Somali football when he accompanied a delegation of FIFA officials to Mogadishu in February 2022.
Abdurahman Mumin a civil society activist accused Waberi of using his FIFA and CECAFA connections to influence the polls saying they have organised street protest against the Djibouti official.
“Djibouti and Souleiman must respect Somalia’s sovereignity. We are brothers but we also need respect. We demand for transperancy in this elections” Mumin told reporters in Mogadishu.
“There are vested interest in who is going to be elected the next president of SFF. What SFF is to clean up its room and elect officials who are honest at taking Somalia football to the next level not corrupt officials who continue to derail our gains in the last decade. Shiine may not be a good choice to lead SFF ” Ali Yusuf owner of Raadsan FC of the Serie A league.
Yusuf accuses Mohamed of plotting to rig the elections.
Ali Barre one of the co-owners of Hilaac Club a series B side has asked FIFA to intervene and save Somalia football.
An insider told Dalsan Media that FIFA has invited SFF officials for possible arbitration amid the quagmire in the local football body.
Football in post civil war Somalia had seen a commendable growth in the last five years with the Horn of Africa country priding itself with a league that includes foreign players from Kenya Nigeria Ghana Uganda and Cameroon among other African countries. Construction of world class stadia and October 2022 U-17 Cecafa win is among the accolades gained by SFF.
But corruption has threatened to derail these development. Poor governance public wrangles for power, ethnic and political intrigue have become a norm in Somalia football.
Mohamed’s predecessor Abdiqani Said Arab was sacked for abuse of power in December 2021. He was accused of misappropriation of funds meant for two FIFA projects In Kismayu and Mogadishu. SFF was also accused of not backing the women football in Somalia despite funding. He had been elected in 2014 and his reign was to end in 2022.
Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports suspended elections of the body that was to be held on 28th of December 2022 after it received complaints from some members of football fraternity in Somalia and after the ministry tried to mitigate and address the raised concerns through appropriate channels the electoral committee of the SFF by passed the guidance stipulated in Somalia Stability Funds statutes, electoral code and overall FIFA guidance .
The World football governing body issued guidance to the SFF statutes to resolve the quagmire while the Ministry of Youth and Sports gave SFF an ultimatum for organizing elections before January 30 2023.
SFF which is responsible for organising matches between local teams and enforcing rules and regulations of football was founded in 1951 is one of the national administrative governing bodies of the Confederation of African football and became FIFA member in 1962.
The fate of SFF leadership and that of Somaloa football now remains in the 46 voting Congress members. The Congress is made up of 25 independent organizations ,coaches ,universities and federal state representatives.