Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Tanks gone, Somalis fill Mogadishu Stadium with 65,000+ fans for first time since 2004

Sunday July 18, 2021

The return journey from military base to national football stadium has been a long one for the Mogadishu Stadium and the Somali FA.

On Friday the stadium was full to capacity for the first time since 2004. The SFA only took control of the renovated facility in June last year.

More than 65,000 Somalis packed in for the top of the table league clash between military-owned sports club Horseed and Mogadishu’s municipality team, Mogadishu City Club.

Thousands more fans were turned away once the stadium was full. Reopened at the end of 1995, Stadium Mogadishu was closed again in 2004.

From 2007-2009, the stadium was the main base for Ethiopian troops who entered the country to help the Somali government defeat the once powerful Islamic Courts Unions, but by the end of January 2009, the national facility came into the hands of Al-Shabaab who were based at the stadium until they were forced to flee the capital on 6 August 2011.

The stadium stayed in military use, as African Union Peace keepers in Somalia (AMISOM) took over  AL Shabaab vacated. Finally AMISOM left the stadium on 28 August 2018.


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