Militias loyal to the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants have arrested a Somali National football squad member, Sa’ad Saleh Hussein, who was caught early on Friday in the city of Afgoye about 30 kilometers south of the capital Mogadishu.
“We are still frustrated and we don’t know about his fate. We went to Al-shabaab custody here in Afgoye late on Friday and they told us that the boy had been found guilty of crimes against Islam. We really don't know what to do," one of Sa’ad’s relatives who demanded anonymity because of security reasons said Saturday.
“They didn’t specify what kind of crime he committed,” the relative said, adding that the young star who lives in Afgoye was traveling daily to Mogadishu for training as he was member of the Ocean Stars preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier clash against Ethiopia.
“They haven’t described the reason of his arrest. The footballer usually went to Mogadishu for training secretly—maybe they have got information about his daily travel for soccer training sessions,” the anonymous relative said.
Somali Football Federation (SFF) has not yet commented on the arrest of the prominent national team member, Sa’d Saleh Hussein, who is 19 years old.
Somali Islamists banned football in 2006 and termed it as a ‘satanic act’ but despite the difficulties the SFF has been working in the lawless country since then.
**FATE UNKNOWN: Sa'ad Saleh Hussein (back row second from left in No 19 shirt) was arrested by Al-Shabab militants. Photo/SSPA
**Published by AIPS