Voice of Sport

Djibouti boys in sensational run at Doha youth soccer championship

Back home, each victory is celebrated by hundreds of football fans pouring into the streets to cheer the historic results


DJIBOUTI youngsters reached the semi-finals of the ongoing Arab Youth Under-17 soccer tournament in the Qatar capital, Doha.

The African boys shared points with Qatar, after their hotly-contested match ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Earlier, the Djibouti boys had beaten Mauritania 4-3 in the opening match of the tournament played on October 20.

Strong

The Djiboutian youngsters are now classified as one of the strongest teams in the competition and their exploits are receiving wide media attention in the Gulf States.

Djibouti had been preparing the team in the past two years, putting them under daily training since the boys were short listed from a schools tournament some 20 months ago.

From bottom

In his post-election address on November 10 2012, the Djibouti Football Federation president Souleiman Hassan Waberi announced his football development plans would be particularly to build football from the bottom in a bid to hunt young talented players from schools and regional youth tournaments.

In December 2013, the national boys’ team trained in Doha for two weeks in order to acclimatise for the current tournament.

Knowledge

“As I pledged two years ago, my policy is to develop football, first among school children as young as 12 or 13, because educating children under football is part of building football knowledge from the bottom,” Waberi told Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] Media.

The FDF President pledged a bonus for the boys if they won the tournament in Doha. “Even finishing second would be good,” he said adding that he hoped they would win the trophy outright.

Historic

Meanwhile, in the capital Djibouti, hundreds of football fans have been seen in the streets celebrating each of the historic victories by their boys’ team in Doha.

They chant positive slogans while waving the country’s national flag and some camping outside the FDF headquarters in the city centre.

– Reported by Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar, member, CECAFA Media Committee