FIFA helps Somalia revive its oldest and largest sporting facility in the capital after years of unrest (Photo/Midnimo).
The Somali Football Federation (SFF) this week unveiled the first phase of the renovation of Somalia’s oldest and largest football facility.
The renovation work is part of a large initiatives by FIFA under its Win In Africa With Africa program and hopes to revive sport in the war ravaged nation. The first phase, which took a month to complete, included the installation of artificial surface for the first time.
The federation and its sub-contractor the East African Modern Engineering Company (EMECO) brought in an expert from the Dutch-based construction company Greenfield to supervise the works.
The new surface will get reviews very soon when the country hosts the next edition of regional football tournament for peace and development early 2013.
With a capacity of 15,000, the stadium was inaugurated in 1956 by the Italians and was later expanded by the Chinese in the 1980s. At one stage, it was the largest and the most modern facility in Africa and the Arab world. It hosted many international competitions including All Arab games, All African games, the CECAFA tournament and many others. It has multi-uses and plans to add additional facilities are underway. These upgrades include VIP facilities and accommodations.
After going through so many different era, stages and events including colonial rule, socialism, civil war, Islamists and Ethiopian control, the stadium is slowly returning into the right hands in the Somali Football Federation organization.