First Mogadishu night-time football match in decades

Football fans in Mogadishu were preparing Friday to cheer on their teams in the first night-time match since chaos descended on the Somali capital nearly three decades ago.

The tournament for 16- and 18-year-olds at the Konis Stadium, renovated by FIFA, will be played under tight security because of the constant threat posed by the Shabaab Islamist group.

“This is going to be a great moment for the country and football fans. It was in 1988 that the last night game was played in Mogadishu,” said Omar Ibrahim Abdisalam, a spokesman for the Somali Football Federation.

The federation hopes that if the game unfolds without a major incident, it will open the door to similar matches.

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