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War ravaged Mogadishu hosts first match in 30 years under stadium floodlights

September 12 – For the first time in more than 30 years, thousands of fans have watched a symbolic floodlit evening game in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

The game took place at the country’s oldest stadium which was renovated as part of FIFA’s Win in Africa with Africa programme, set up under Sepp Blatter but later scrapped as part of financial cutbacks imposed by Gianni Infantino’s new regime.

The match, the final of a citywide club tournament for 16- to 18-year-olds, took place last Friday under tight security but was regarded as a historic occasion given the recent civil war and the number of terrorist atrocities inflicted on the city in recent years.

“Tonight is clearly a historic night that our people, the people of this city, waited for more than 30 years,” said Mogadishu Mayor Tabit Abdi Mohamed. “You deserve every kind of entertainment and sports that people in other world capital cities get.”

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