CAF President, Ahmad has pledged support for the development of sporting facilities in Somalia to appreciable standards during his tenure.
He made this remarks after visiting selected facilities in the capital, Mogadishu, on Monday, 17 April 2017 as part of a two-day working visit, his first official visit since being elected to the helm of CAF last March.
In the company of Somali Minister for Youth and Sports, Khadija Mohamed Diriye, president of the Somali Football Federation (SFF), Abdiqani Said Arab and other officials, the CAF President toured the Mogadishu University Technical Centre Stadium, Mogadishu Stadium and Banadir Stadium.
His first stop was the Mogadishu University Technical Centre Stadium, where he was welcomed by a group of kids and some youth.
The next stop was the Mogadishu Stadium, where Ahmad expressed deep sorrow upon seeing the current state of the historical venue, which was closed in 2009 due to the political situation of the country. The CAF President thus pledged commitment to ensure the Stadium is re-opened to serve the purpose for which it was established.
The Mogadishu stadium was built in 1978 by a Chinese company. It is a sports complex boasting of a football pitch, a basketball court, tennis court and a hotel to accommodate athletes. The 40,000-capacity stadium hosted some matches of the Arab Clubs Championship in 1979, as well as the regional CECAFA Cup matches in 1981 and 1982, and is considered a historical venue for Somali football.
The final leg of the tour took him to the Banadir Stadium, where he was received by the Somali Minister of Defense, General Abdul Rasheed Abdullah Mohamed.
The CAF president later paid courtesy calls on the Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, at the Presidential Palace and Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khayre.
He is expected to address a Press Conference on Tuesday to wrap up his visit.