Somali FA insists Abdiqani Said is in Zurich for FIFA meetings, not women’s investigation

March 13 – Conflicting stories have emerged over the reasons behind the head of the Somalia Football Federation (SFF) travelling to FIFA headquarters in Zurich amid allegations that monies due to the country’s women’s team have gone missing.

Radio reports in the country say Abdiqani Said (pictured) has been summoned to FIFA HQ to explain where the millions of dollars had gone.

This reportedly follows an accusation by Shaima Mohamed, former head of women’s football in the country who had reached out to football’s world governing to take action, claiming money made available to support the women’s game was not reaching its intended target.

Mohamed claims that her life is in danger after reporting her federation to FIFA for embezzling funds, prompting her to flee to Mogadishu.

“They (FIFA) should do more to ensure we are receiving our funding,” she was quoted as saying last month. “FIFA needs to do more accountability with every federation in Africa to see if the women’s funding is being spent on women’s football or something else.”

However the Somali FA refutes this version of events and says Said is at FIFA on official business describing local radio reports as “defamatory, unreal and imaginary propaganda.”

“The president has recently travelled to Zurich where he attended the meeting of the FIFA organizing committee for competitions,” a federation statement said

“The sole objective for his travel to FIFA was to attend that meeting as he is member of the committee and it is unfortunate that a local radio which is known for its involvement in the violence in the country has published a false report on the president’s trip to Zurich.”

“We can confirm that the president was not questioned by FIFA as the so-called local radio website has reported. This radio has been known for taking part in the country’s insecurity and violence instigation and has never reported on any sport in Somalia.  The media are free to report on what is really taking place, but the principles and the laws of journalism should be applied and the rights of any one shouldn’t be infringed on.”

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