Former Somali FIFA referee dies

Former Somali international Centre referee Hajji Abdi Elmi Warsame has passed away at a hospital in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday evening, the Somali Football Federation revealed here on Friday.

The Somali Football Federation said in a press statement that the Late Warsame has been suffering from a long illness for the past several years and was taken to Kuala Lumpur for medication on 24th of August this year where he perished on Thursday evening.

“It was really a shocking experience for the entire Somali Football family members when the sad news of Warsame’s death came to light—he was a man who played a key role in the promotion of Somali Football and in a particular during the difficult times of civil wars and lack of a functioning government in the country” SFF secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab said in a statement Friday.

“In early 1990s the late Warsame was one of the football volunteers who helped to destroy the warlord-created green line that once divided Somali capital into two tales each controlled a hostile warlord—the ‘RESTORE HOPE’ football tournament was used as an element to destroy the green line and Hajji Abdi Elmi Warsame was serving as Somali Football Federation vice president at that time” the SFF secretary Genetral Abdi Qani Said Arab said in his statement.

In 1960s the late Warsame was the playmaker of Somali National team and his LLPP Jeenyo football club, while he served as an international football referee from late 1970s to the end of 1980s. Although he was not active for the past several years then with his death the Somali Football Federation has missed a great veteran according to the SFF statement.

“My father has died last night, we are Muslims and we believe that everyone will die—thousands of football family members and other sports-loving people have been coming to our home since my father’s death was announced, we are very grateful to them for showing they are on our side” his son Hamza Hajji Abdi himself a Somali Football division A league referee told the media.

The statement noted that the book of condolence has been opened at the Somali Football Federation headquarters in Mogadishu where three days of mourning were also announced.

“The SFF president, executive committee members and secretariat are sending their sympathy to the whole Somali Football family and in particularly to his wife, children and relatives—we share the sadness with them” secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab said in his press statement Friday.

By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar

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