Al Qarra – Workers, engineers and experts are working on the renovation of the Konis stadium in Mogadishu. Artificial turf is being laid on the field. FIFA, the International football Federation, donated the material. Then running tracks will also put down in the stadium.
Built in 1955 and renovated in 1985 by Chinese people, the Konis stadium is going through a makeover. Before the beginning of the work a few months ago, the structure was still bearing the stigma of 20 years of civil war.
Over the years, the Somali army and armed militias used the stadium as a military base. The structure was also Al-Shabaab’s former training ground before the Islamist fighters were forced out of Mogadishu in August 2011.
The stadium came to symbolize hope since Al-Shabaab’s withdrawal. But the structure hasn’t host sports events in 20 years.
The next goal is to transform the stadium into a structure certified by FIFA.
Ahmed SAID, Somali football player : « I am pleased to see our stadium becoming an international stadium again, I am delighted. »
« Abdiqani Said ARAB, Secretary General, The Somali Football Federation : « The good thing is that we will be able to host other teams to play in Mogadishu. Somalia didn’t host any teams in 20 years.”
The company Green Field is in charge of the renovation. It should train local engineers for the stadium maintenance. Work should be completed by the end of January.