Mogadishu (UM) – Yesterday was a tense day according to Mohamed Elmi a football fanatic in Garowe. He and his friends waited all day for the second leg of the match between Somalia and Zimbabwe for a place in the qualifiers for World Cup 2022 and it ended with a painful defeat. The national celebrations of the first match where Somalia won by a single goal was not there yesterday but according to interviewees they were “very proud of the players.” Even President Farmaajo sent a message of congratulations after the match to the team.
In interviewees across the country UM learnt the sense of pride the people had in the players that represented Somalia.
“They came from all over the world to play for us and I feel sad they lost but happy that we played so well together,”said Ibrahim Wakil, a student. “I really thought we were going to win that is how well the team played.”
“Somali football has a long way to go like the country but our players did their best. They came together and played for each other and their country. I think I have never felt so proud as a Somali as I do now,” said Nura Mohamed.
All interviewed felt that the Somali football team who have had no financial support from the government did well to support and organise themselves. They played against the odds with teams that were better financed and organised. This made their achievements more impressive.
Interviewees also felt that the way the team played and their nationalism helped to unite the country.
“For one afternoon we were all supporting the same thing across Somalia. This is an amazing feeling that we need more of,” said Saed Abdi, a businessman. “Our politicians can learn alot from the football team.”
Sources close to President Farmajo have informed UM that he will invite the team to visit him Somalia.