Wednesday February 1, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's Ministry of Internal Security issued a directive on Tuesday suspending the election for the Somali Football Federation (SFF) leadership.
The SFF is the governing body responsible for the development and promotion of football. The SFF organizes various leagues, tournaments, and national teams, including the Somali Premier League, the Somalia Cup, and the Somalia national football team.
The vote, scheduled for Tuesday at Hotel Elite in Mogadishu, was cancelled after concerns from the Ministry of Youth and Sports that SFF members were planning to hold two competing "parallel" elections.
In a statement released on Monday, Somalia's sports ministry said it recommended suspending the vote to protect the integrity of the elections.
"The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is responsible for maintaining the unity of the athletic community. This includes ensuring stability and legitimacy of the elections of Somali sports associations."
"The ministry protects the independence of the Somali football association and avoids interference or individual abuse of authority of the association. The ministry warns against division in Somali football. The ministry has learned that opposing parties planned to hold parallel elections for the same leadership positions.
"The ministry warns against any crisis that may arise from the ongoing dispute and orders the cessation of all ongoing activities that are not in mutual agreement.
"Therefore, the sports ministry is informing the Ministry of Internal Security to suspend the parallel elections scheduled on Feb 1, 2023."
The SFF's current President, Ali Abdi Mohamed (Ali Shiine), was accused by other SSF members of attempting to hold a "fixed election" whereby he would emerge as the winner.
Wish Haji Yabow, the son of a former Basketball federation president, Aden Haji Yabow, is the sole challenger to lead the SFF
Shiine's predecessor, Abdiqani Said Arab, was unceremoniously sacked for abuse of power during an extraordinary congress in December 2021. He formally resigned a month later after FIFA sent a delegation to Mogadishu to hear the complaints of all parties. Arab was first elected in 2014 after almost a decade as Secretary General. He was re-elected unopposed in Novmebr 2018, and his mandate was to run until the end of 2022.
Football fans say that whoever wins must make a concerted effort to tackle corruption in the SSF, which has negatively impacted the development of football in Somalia. The issue of corruption in the SFF is multi-faceted and includes various illegal activities such as bribery, embezzlement, and mismanagement of funds. The corruption has led to a lack of transparency in the organization and has also resulted in the misallocation of resources and the disruption of various programs and initiatives.
Directive from the Ministry of Internal Security
Statement from Ministry of Youth and Sports