Profile: Somali Football Federation (SFF)
The Somali Football
Federation [SFF], is a private football governing body in Somalia. The SFF was
officially founded in 1951, but according to the history, football was a
well-known sport that was played in Somalia a long time ago and the history of
Somali football can be traced back to early 1920s.
Somali Football Federation is the principal national organization which is in its full and official capacity responsible for the development and overseeing football in Somalia at all levels from the very beginning stage known as grassroots to the professional level.
The Somali Football Federation has been affiliated to FIFA since 1962 and affiliated to Africa football’s ruling organization (CAF) since 1968. The SFF is also member of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations [CECAFA]. Somalia has been member of the CECAFA since the regional Africa Football’s governing organization was officially formed in 1973; therefore, Somali Football Federation is one of the founding federations of CECAFA.
Somali Football Federation has also been member of the Union of Arab Football Associations [UAFA] since it was established in 1974. So again SFF is one of the founding members of UAFA, meaning that Somalia is a great football country.
Each year, Somali Football Federation organizes a total of 22 football competitions across the country ranging from youth competitions, regional leagues to the Somali Premier League, which is the most-watched sporting event in Somalia.
These competitions include:
·Somali Premier League which is the most populous sporting event in Somalia and has been held every year since 1952.
·General Da’ud Cup, is the second most-watched sporting competition in Somalia and it has been an annual event since 1972 in honour of the founder of Somalia’s National Army founder, General Da’ud Abdulle Hersi.
·Division One Football League.
·Division Two football league.
·Domestic Youth Football League.
·Inter-State tournament. A competition for the five federal states and Banadir region.
·Regional football tournament. A competition for the whole 18 Somali regions.
·Club juniors’ league.
·The Somali Supper Cup.
·National Futsal League.
·National Beach soccer league.
·Puntland State football league.
·Jubbaland State football league.
·South West State football league.
·Hir-Shabeelle State football league.
·Gal-Mudug State football league.
·Banadir regional football league.
·National U-15 Championship which is the newest football
competition in the country and launched in May 2019.
Each State of the federal republic of Somalia has its own league organized by the regional football association under the auspice of Somali Football Federation.The state football leagues were first launched in 2016.
Somali Football Federation and its role in peace building.
The main task of Somali Football Federation is promoting and developing the beautiful game in Somalia, but as Somalia fell into anarchy and the trust amongst Somalis hit its lowest point and people were segregated, football was deemed as the only mechanism that could reunite the Somali people who are nearly 95 percent football-loving people.
After the Somalia descended into violence in 1991, the whole country was subdivided between warlords and the capital Mogadishu was the worst hit, as it was dividing into two tales where people were denied access to cross into either parts of the city.
But thanks to the beautiful game which was able to destroy the green line that once divided the city into two tales. The footballing year of 1992-1993 had provided Somalis in the capital with a huge sensation of peace, hope, love and public integration.
The 1992-1993 RESTORE HOPE football competition ended the segregation of Mogadishu and had seen tens of thousands of football fans cross into either south or north of Mogadishu where they had enjoyed football games held at Stadium Banadir (Northeast of Mogadishu) and Stadium Mogadishu (South Central Mogadishu) and that was how football destroyed the green line of Mogadishu.
Eight years later in the year 2000, football was once again able cross to the North east of the country, where footballers representing ten Somali regions were brought together in Garowe, the capital of the Puntland State of Somalia, where the first regional football tournament was held after the fall of Somalia in 1991. That was followed by another event which took place in Jowhar, the capital of the Hir-Shabeele State which hosted a 10-region football tournament in 2008. Finally, the whole Somalia once again met in Garowe for the 18thedition of the regional football tournament which attracted all Somali regions. The event was an opportunity that brought together once hostile politicians who last met late in 1980s.
However, Somali football federation still continues to play a major role in introducing peace and stability into the country through the beautiful game, the football which is loved by more than 95 percent of Somalis ranging from children to elders.