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Somali Football Fans Flock into Government Areas to Watch World Cup Games

Young football fans are “flocking” into government-held territory in Mogadishu in order to watch the world cup tournament, witnesses told VOA Somali Service.

A fan who fled Yaqshid district in north Mogadishu told VOA Somali Service that he fled because of the banning. “I am a sports lover, Hisbul told us that they cannot guarantee our safety if we watched the football matches,” said a young fan who requested anonymity. He said he will stay with his aunt in the government held district of Hamar Jajab until the end of the world cup.

The move followed after two Islamist groups imposed restrictions on watching the World Cup. A Spokesman for Hisbul Islam Sheikh Mohamed Osman Arus told local media that the World Cup “is leading the youngsters into astray”.

Al-Shabab banns cinemas and other public gathering where people could watch the World Cup. A young world cup fan in Baidoa town controlled by Al-Shabab said he watches the world with his family but with extreme caution. So far Al-Shabab militias have not entered private homes to stop people from watching the world cup.