• Mogadishu

  • Tuesday, July 2, 2024 at 6:05 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, July 2, 2024 at 6:05 AM

Somali Women Challenge Social Taboos by Forming Football Team

(AWP) - Members of a Somali women’s football club are breaking social norms and overcoming many challenges to keep their dream of representing their country at continental and global levels alive.

Eight years after founding Banadir FC for women, team players and staff are still struggling against social stereotypes about women playing sports, security problems that hinder travel between stadiums, as well as the lack of financial resources to support their squad.

Based in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, Banadir Women’s Football Club members are paying for their team’s expenses themselves, as they hope to one day become the foundation for a Somali women’s national football team.

Hani Abdurahman, the club captain, said, “This women’s team was founded in 2016 but stopped playing for a few years due to security concerns. It resumed its football activities a year ago.”

She added, “The Banadir team is not reliant on any other party. We founded it and fund it ourselves, whether for renting fields or buying sportswear.”

Other team players expressed their delight at being part of the groundbreaking initiative, despite the challenges they face.

Banadir FC player Fartun Ahmed, said, “I am very happy to be a player in this team. There are many obstacles that prevent girls in the capital, Mogadishu, from playing football, including security and economic conditions. Despite all these challenges, we aspire to reach football levels that qualify us to represent the national team.”

Their enthusiasm is shared by their coach, Mahd Salad, who said, “Somali society is becoming more open day by day. Currently, the biggest challenge for this women’s team is the lack of resources in terms of training facilities, in addition to the economic conditions of the players regarding transportation for home and away matches.”

“We rely on ourselves. I am the coach for one of the first division teams and I spend part of my salary on this women’s team,” he added.