Voice of Sport

Somalia, the clear exception in Cecafa, earns Fifa praise for media work

Termed as a ‘communications role model’ the Somalia Football Federation is commended in a region where media plans at federations’ headquarters are non-existent


FEDERATION heads in the Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] region admitted to Fifa experts at the weekend that their communication departments were rudimentary to say the least and that they would work on correcting that.

An exception was the Somali Football Federation [SFF] who earned Fifa praise for good disseminating of news about football development in that country.

Fifa praised the media department of SFF for accomplishing various aspects such as regular news updates to affiliates through websites, direct e-mailing and publication of an SFF annual activity report magazine.

Role model

“This is a good example, “said Segolene Valentin the Fifa Media Relations Manager in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.

She termed Somalia as a ‘communications role model’ to a region where a media plan at the federations’ headquarters was non-existent.

“Applaud for Somalia for the huge move forward,” Valentin told seminar participants, including FA Presidents, Secretary Generals and Media Officers from all 12 member associations [save for the absent Eritrea].

“This is the work that every media officer must do,” said Valentin as she held the SFF Activity Report magazine, praising the job done by the Somali FA media department under Chief Media Officer Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar.

Structures

Cecafa President Leodegar Tenga thanked Fifa for facilitating the communication seminar for the region to see what ought to be put in place.

“We have worked since 2012 to have this work shop take place. I met with Emmanuel Maradas of Fifa media to discuss the possibility of organising and it has materialised at long last. It is of immense benefit.”

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said that the regional football governing body was very grateful to Fifa and in particularly President Joseph S Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke for regularly being receptive to requests about Cecafa development needs.

Succesful administration

“Cecafa is committed to doing its utmost to develop the media and administration sectors of its member associations,” Musonye said during his address at the launch of the two-day workshop.

He said he was hopeful that more such seminars would continue to help develop media and communications sectors of the Cecafa nations.

A Somalia FA executive committee member, Amir Abdi Hassan addressed the workshop outlining his association’s media policy and plan.

Magazine

“We have defined media officers in charge of media relations and operations, a website and we have been publishing the SFF magazine for the past several years.”

Fifa have in the recent past been involved in many development activities for Somalia that has been returning to peace after many years of war; this included rehabilitating a stadium through the Goal Project in Mogadishu and training of administrators, coaches and referees, all which had received satisfactory media coverage.

“Somalia Football Federation believes that without organised and professional media coverage football cannot grow and that is why we long ago decided to invest in the federation’s media department,” said Hassan.

Agencies

“We also keep good cooperative relations with the privately-owned media agencies as well as the pubic media both in the country and the outside world.

“SFF believes that the Media is a major stakeholder. I commend our Chief Media Officer Abokar for having cultivated and maintained good relations with the local and international media,” Hassan said.

–  Additional reporting from Somali Football Federation Media Department