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Somalia FA Slams Saudi Newspaper Over Ocean Stars Coverage

Somali Football Federation (SFF) has condemned reports by Saudi-based newspaper Arab News for describing Somalia national team as “homeless”.

Somali Football Federation (SFF) has condemned reports by Saudi-based newspaper Arab News after the media house published an article describing Somalia national team that played 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe as “homeless”.

The Ocean Stars made of foreign-based players made history on Thursday night when they beat the Mighty Warriors 1-0 in the first-leg of qualifiers played in Djibouti, over 500 miles away from Somalia, due to security risks in the host’s war-torn home country.

In a statement, Somali Football Federation director of communication Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar asked the newspaper to retract and apologise for publishing the article as it clearly infringed upon the dignity of Somalia.

“Before running such a rubbish story, they had to research and try to know why Somali Football Federation preferred Djibouti which is apparently clear, then I am sure they could have understood more about the relationship between the duo and that there is no difference between the peoples of both countries, meaning that if you are from Djibouti, Mogadishu is your home and if you are from Mogadishu, Djibouti is your home as well,” part of the statement reads.

“It is nothing else, but they have demonstrated their hatred towards us. Instead of calling Somalia homeless, they could use another polite terminology that might reflect on the reason why the Ocean Stars played their homes games in Djibouti which is Somalia’s most brotherly nation on earth” the SFF press statement added.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “We are luckier than those in Saudi Arabia, because we have two home countries, Djibouti and Somalia and we are very proud of our two countries and those who ran the story should know that we are not homeless, but Djibouti is our home too. They have to behave themselves.”   [/perfectpullquote]

Somalia scored the only goal of the game with an 87th-minute header by Anwar Sidali Shakunda, as the Ocean Stars, ranked 202nd in the world—Africa’s joint-lowest side—defeated the visitors, who are 90 places ahead of them in the FIFA rankings and 27th in Africa

The victory was Somalia’s first in a qualifying game since they defeated Kenya in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in 1984, their first-ever in a World Cup qualifying campaign, and their first win of any kind since January 2009.

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