Somalia Women football boss flees country after unearthing graft in SFF

Somalia
Players train at Golden Club academy in Mogadishu. The team could not participate in a recent tournament because of a lack of funds, the founder said.

NAIROBI, Kenya - The Head of the women football in Somalia now says her life is in danger after reporting the Somali Football Federation [SFF] to FIFA for embezzling funds, prompting her to flee Mogadishu.

She wants FIFA to expedite investigations and take actions against the officials whom she says were an impediment to the growth of the game in the country.

Last month, Shaima Mohamed reached out to world football governing body to take action, claiming money made available by FIFA to support the women’s game in her country is not reaching its intended target.

“Ever since I raised the issue, all is not well. I have received threats. All I am looking for is money meant for our women footballers; I am not up to any witch-hunt," she disclosed.

“I can no longer stay in Mogadishu I have had to leave the country for my own security, I cannot take the threats for granted given the volatile situation in the country”, she added.

She also lamented the slow pace with which FIFA had handled the matter, asserting her aggressors have now staged a coup to edge her out two years into her six-year term.

Every national federation is entitled to money from Fifa, with $100,000 of the $500,000 available for operational costs ringfenced for women’s football, while additional money is available for travel to women’s tournaments and for special projects related to women’s football.

The Guardian reported FIFA funds for women’s football are alleged not to be reaching their target, with fear of extremists said to be the reason.

Additional money is available for travel to women’s tournaments and for special projects related to women’s football.
The Somali federation has not responded to requests for comment.

She said the federation gave her an official title but turned down her request for an office, equipment and a rent-free field for training.

Girls and women continue to play, notably at the Golden Club academy in Mogadishu, which Mohamed founded and runs.
Mohamed, who grew up in Kenya was battling to establish women’s football in Somalia since she moved back in 2015, aged 19.

“There were no women playing football so I decided to form a group I could play with,” she said in an exclusive interview with TUKO.co.ke. “It became an organization. I had to open up an academy so that more girls could be inspired and empowered," she added.