Somaliland: Regional Sports Championship 2013 Updates

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Future champion displays talent• President Silanyo among spectators at the Sanaag VS Maroodi-jeeh basketball match

• Football and basketball Tournaments news

• Togdeer regional football team in Police custody for clannish behaviour

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Citizens from all walks of life led by president Silanyo continue to flock at the Hargeisa and Tima’ade stadiums to spectate at ongoing regional athletics, football and Basketball tournaments.

The head of state president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo was among Spectators during the Basketball match between Sanaag and reigning champions Maroodi-jeeh(Hargeisa) regions at the Tima’ade grounds on Thursday that saw the reigning champions win by a margin of 23 baskets after thrashing their opponents 52-29.

President Silanyo (4th) at the Erigavo Hargeisa Basketball matchThose accompanying president Silanyo who also officially launched the 2013 tournament included first lady Ms. Amina Sh Mohamed Jirdeh ‘Amina Weris”, Education minister Hon Zamzam Abdi Aden, Youth and Sports Minister Ali Saeed Raygal and Fisheries minister Abdilahi Geeljire among others.

With his attendance at the evening match, president Silanyo became the first sitting head of state to spectate at a basketball match nonetheless one played in the evening a fact that has stimulated attendance at the Tima’ade grounds that saw a full house on Friday, a day after the president’s presence.

While 13 teams have been entered for the annual regional sports championship 2013 that includes Athletics, Basketball and football competitions only 7 are contesting the basketball title as the five newcomer contestants of Damage (Odweine), Sarar (Ainabo), Selel (Sayla), Badan and Buhodle regions as well as Sool region who last tournament’s 3rd runners failed to marshal teams for this category.

On the more popular football tournament front that continues to attract the largest number of spectators a few teams are about to pack their bags whileundeterred by age and high office president Silanyo shoots a basket at Timaade grounds the Togdeer regional football team wins the distinction of being the first ever in the annual regional championships to be placed in police custody while games are on-going.

The football tournament  is divided into three groups composed all the thirteen regions with group A with five teams while B & C has 4 each has so far seen three of them from diverse groups namely Sahil and Togdeer regions already confirmed as out of the games with the same fate anticipated for Sanaag which has lost one and drew one match.

The Togdeer football team which has been embroiled in controversy since losing their first match 2-0 against Gabile failed to take to the field for their for their Group C match with Sool after police detained most team memebers for unbecoming behaviour,

The Burao boys who have won the championship twice in the past started the tournament in the wrong foot after their preparations were marred by controversy said to emanate from divisions among the two main clans residing in the region.

The Togdeer football team clan saga that occasioned the minister of youth and sports to intervene by firing the regional sports coordinator and some sports association officials subsequently reinstated the two first choice teams disbanded after some nonsensical differences were resolved at the last minute after the now in Hargeisa police custody team was hastily cobbled on 30th May for the games that begun on the 2nd of May.

The Sanaag and Hargeisa regional basketball teamsThe team members hailed far and wide for their heroic gesture of having salved their regions honour on the eleventh hour proved those trumpeting their heroism wrong during their first match against Gabile which the eastern boys lost 2-0.

The spectators of the Togdeer Gabile match played on 3rd May had to wait for over 45 minutes before the Eastern boys who were wrangling in the dressing room over the captaincy finally made an entrance to the ground.

Their wrangling thought to have been left at the dressing room after the officially appointed captain handed over to a player fronted by a segmented of the team, cropped up during the match as the players displayed on the field and with thousands of spectators from all regions very un-sportsmanship antics.

These antics that revolved around players of either of the two major clans of the region only passing the ball to a player from their respective clan saw the united Gabile team run rings round the clan disjointed Togdeer team subsequently beating them 2-o.

Despite concerted efforts to resolved the conflict by both regional and national authorities led by Governor Hamarje and Minister Raygal the eastern boys continued their dirty inter-clan based hatred on and off the pitch thus forfeiting their second match to Sool following their failure to appear on the ground today 7th May as most of the team members are in police custody.

While the un-sportsmaqnship antics displayed on the field are not sufficient reason for police to place the Togdeer football players under their custody the off-the pitch ones are said to have reached an alarming stage thus the arrest which a Hargeisa central police officer says was deterrence to an imminent breach of the peace.

As their colleagues in the Togdeer Athletics and basketball teams continue to play as a team and in harmony the footballers are reported to have been fully separated in their specific clan lines thus threats that are reported to have finally gone oThe Disgraceful Toghdeer Regional football team now in police custodyut of hand last night after serious wrangles thus at some time saw knives welded.

After all is said and done Kudos to the Hargeisa police for arresting the clan minded youthful footballers from Burao and good riddance to the same clan minded youths who put clan interest above that of their Togdeer region.

Our police source informs that the Togdeer team arrest was effected after orders from the ministry of youth and sports headquarters in Hargeisa.

In order to deter such behaviour during future regional championships as well as show the national abhorrence of clannish minded activities the police, ministry of youth and sports as well as the Togdeer regional authorities should see to it that the now in custody footballers are arraigned in court and given the maximum sentence for their clannish behaviour that almost marred a national event.

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