Somaliland: State Disowns Football Team at World Cup Tournament in Abkazia


But according to the organizers the tournament is for countries unable to join FIFA because of non recognition which fits Somalilanod perfectly

Members of the Somaliland national football team in Abkhazia for the CONIFA World Cup 2016

 By: Mahmoud Qodah

Somalilandsun- The  government and its national football federation have once again declared that the football team which attended a soccer tournament held for some of the secessionist states in Abkhazia won’t and can’t represent Somaliland Republic. 

According to highest officials from Somaliland’s sports authorities including the chairman of Somaliland national football federation and the Minister as well as the Director General of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, this team who claimed to be representing Somaliland in the Abkhazia championship can’t officially represent the nation. 

“There is nothing that we as a minister and football federation go with this tournament. As such that group can’t represent Somaliland state. Somaliland has sports rules and regulations. The nation has sports associations such as football, basketball, athletics etc. So anything out of this system can’t claim to be representatives of the nation. 

Somaliland diaspora community members in some specific area can’t represent the nation. We have a diaspora community in many places around the world such as UK, Arab countries, US, Scandinavian states etc, so none of the community who live in those countries can’t officially or unofficially represent Somaliland Republic as Somaliland is stable, peaceful and effective and functioning governmental and sports system,” Minister of Youth ,Sports and Tourism Abdilahi Farah Ahmed (Maydhane). 

Mohamed Hussein Dhabeye, the Director General of the Ministry has similarly noted, “Though Somaliland Republic has not been officially recognized by any, but still international community treat Somaliland as a country and the reason is that Somaliland showed or fulfilled all the requirements or the trappings needed that a functioning state to have: its own currency, a functioning bureaucracy, trained police and military, law and order, territorial boundaries, its own travel documents, population etc.

“As such we are going forward and expecting to eventually become part of the World and to be recognized as a free and sovereign state by the World and similarly we want to become a member at the International Sports Federations in the World including FIFA, FIBA etc. As Somaliland has full functioning sports federation for the last 20 years such as football, basketball, athletics, chess etc. Since Somaliland re-inserted its independence a quarter of a century ago, our federations never get a support from none of those international sports associations. We as a government always and regularly gives hand to them in order to grow,” 

“Somaliland Republic can’t play at those who are from areas where no countries exist don’t have the same status as we are. Somaliland was independent state before 1960 and voluntarily joined with the Italian Somalia after it took its independence from the British Protectorate. So none of the participants in the tournament has the same legal status or are the same level as we are. Somaliland is not a secessionist state, but it is a country which has reclaimed its sovereignty and independence,” Director General of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Mr. Dhabeye said. 

The Somaliland soccer team receive a roaring welcome from the crowd at the Conifa World Football Cup opening ceremony in AbkhaziParticipants which have been confirmed to take part in this tournament are including Abkhazia, Chagos Islands, Kurdistan, Northern Cyprus, Padania, Panjab, Raetia,  Sapmi, Székely Land, United Koreans in Japan, Western Armenia, and a team which was reported to represent from Somaliland.