Mogadishu Stadium

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Mogadishu Stadium
Location Mogadishu, Somalia
Coordinates Coordinates: 2°4′3.16″N 45°20′7.65″E / 2.0675444°N 45.3354583°E / 2.0675444; 45.3354583
Opened 1978
Owner Federal Government of Somalia
Operator Somali Football Federation
Surface Artificial Grass
Scoreboard Yes
Architect China
Capacity 35,000

Mogadishu Stadium is a stadium in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

History[edit]

The facility was constructed in 1978 during the Siad Barre administration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. Although Mogadishu Stadium was mainly used for hosting sporting activities, presidential addresses and political rallies, among other events, were also held there.[1]

In 1987, the popular singer Magool staged the famous "Mogadishu and Magool" concert at the facility. It was among the largest such musical events held at the time, with more than 15,000 people in attendance.

Following the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s, the stadium was used as a base by various armed factions. A few football matches were from that period intermittently staged, but the facility remained under the control of militants.[2] When the Al-Shabaab insurgent group laid siege to much of Mogadishu and other southern areas in 2008, it prohibited sporting activities. In August 2011, during the Battle of Mogadishu (2010–2011), the Somali National Army (SNA) backed by AMISOM troops recaptured the capital and stadium from the militants. The African Union forces subsequently used the facility as a military base from which to more effectively secure areas in the northern section of the city.[3]

With the rebels' ouster, life in Mogadishu gradually began to return to normal. Buildings throughout the city underwent reconstruction, and a new Federal Government and Federal Parliament were also formed.[3]

In this renewed atmosphere, the Secretary General of the Somali Football Federation (SFF), Abdiqani Said Arab, along with government officials from the national sports ministry visited the Mogadishu Stadium to inspect its infrastructural status. They also discussed a timetable for the earliest possible withdrawal of AMISOM soldiers, so that the site could be returned to its primary intended use as a sporting facility.[2] In October 2012, the SFF issued a formal request to the AU troops to vacate the premises, in time for a sporting event to be held in December. AU spokesman Col. Ali Hamud described the move as a "normal development" and asserted that, unless technical complications arose, AMISOM should have sufficient time to relocate.[3]

Renovations[edit]

In September 2013, the Somali federal government and its Chinese counterpart signed an official cooperation agreement in Mogadishu as part of a five year national recovery plan in Somalia. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct several major infrastructural landmarks in the Somali capital and elsewhere, including the Mogadishu Stadium.[4]

Capacity and facilities[edit]

Mogadishu Stadium has a capacity of 35,000 spectators. It features a tournament ground, as well as grounds for track and field, football, basketball, volleyball and tennis.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Daily report: People's Republic of China, Issues 53-61, (National Technical Information Service: 1986)
  2. ^ a b "Somali football stadium: African Union urged to leave". BBC. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Somali football stadium: African Union agrees to leave". BBC. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Somalia: Gov't, China Officially Sign Cooperation Agreement". Dalsan Radio. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Daily report: People's Republic of China, Issues 53-61, (National Technical Information Service: 1986)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. "Mogadishu - Coordinates". Geographic.org. Retrieved 19 October 2012.