CAF President Ahmad on Monday, 17 April 2017, arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, on a two-day working visit, his first to the Horn of Africa since assuming the reins of the continent’s football governing body last March.
He was welcomed on arrival at the Mogadishu Airport by Somali Minister for Youth and Sports, Khadija Mohamed Diriye, president of the Somali Football Federation (SFF), Abdiqani Said Arab and other Government officials.
Welcoming the CAF President at a short ceremony at the Arrival Hall, SFF president Abdiqani said “this is a big day for Somalia and Somali football. We are proud to have the CAF President here. He promised that his first official visit will be to Somalia, and he has fulfilled his promise. We are very happy to have the CAF president here in our country.
“We welcome Mr. Ahmad and the CAF executive committee member, my friend and brother Souleiman Hassan Waberi who has supported us all the way. We also welcome personnel from the CAF Secretariat and other members of the CAF delegation to Somalia”.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Mrs Diriye also lauded the CAF President for honouring his promise to visit Somalia on his first official trip.
“On behalf of the Somali people, President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, we would like to welcome the CAF president who has fulfilled his promise to make his first official visit to Somalia. The CAF president promised us and he has lived up to his word”, said Mrs Diriye.
On his part, CAF president Ahmad expressed satisfaction with the warm reception whilst hoping for fruitful discussions with stakeholders towards the development of the game in Somali.
“Today is a big day for Somalia and all of us. I congratulate the Somali people and the new Government. Somalia deserves our support because it is an important part of Africa.
“I have said that we will support all African countries including Somalia. We have a lot to do and it’s time to work. I therefore start my official work from Somalia as promised.
“On behalf of the CAF delegation, I would like to express my happiness to be here. I also thank the Somali Minister of Youth and Sports, SFF president Abdiqani and CAF Executive Committee member, Hassan Waberi for their support”, said Ahmad.
The CAF President, accompanied by Executive Committee member, Souleiman Hassan Waberi of Djibouti, will be in Somalia till Tuesday, 18 April 2017.
His agenda for the first day include visits to the Mogadishu University Technical Centre, Mogadishu Stadium and Banadir Stadium.
He is also due to hold meetings with the SFF Executive Committee and Somali football stakeholders before visiting the Presidential Palace at the invitation of the Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
The CAF President is expected to address a Press Conference on Tuesday to wrap up his visit.