Somalia switches on to first live broadcast match
Somalia makes a small but significant piece of national football history today with the first live football broadcast of a match played in the country.
The 2015 General Da’ud Cup final will be televised live by state broadcaster Somali National Television (SNTV) today.
Somalia has been savaged by a ferocious civil war that begun in the 1990s and it wasn’t until 2012 that a relative stability was achieved within the country. It’s football structure had been similarly ravaged but is tenaciously and painstakingly putting itself back together. The TV deal is a mark of the progress being made.
The Somali Football Federation’s national stadium in Mogadishu, which is currently being occupied by African Union troops, took a step nearer return to football duty in September when the country’s president announced the stadium would be vacated.
The televised final will not be played in the national stadium but in the Stadium Banadir.
Somali Football Federation (SFF) president, Abdiqani Said Arab, said the live coverage is “another great step” forward taken by the SFF which is recovering from decades-long unrest and lawlessness.
“It is a breakthrough, we had long dreamed of getting our matches watched live. This is almost the realisation of our age-old dreams. This will be a test, but if we are successful in this endeavour, we will try to get our matches live in the months to come,” he said.
The coverage is being produced by the Somali Football Federation with SNTV and production company Horn Connect.
“We express our gratitude to the State Television and the privately-owned Horn Connect for helping our dreams come true. We hope to develop our co-operation with these two organisations,” said Abdiqani Said Arab.
The General Da’ud Cup is the second most watched sporting event in Somalia and is held annually in the remembrance of the founder of Somalia’s Armed Forces, General Da’ud Abdulle Hersi. It has been played since 1972.
This year the final will be played between the Somali military club – Horseed – and the Somali police Football Club – Heegan FC.