Somalia’s sports minister orders suspension of federation chairwoman over controversial runner’s performance


On Wednesday, Somalia’s Sports Minister, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, took action and ordered the suspension of the chairwoman of the national track and field federation.

According to AFP, this decision came after an untrained female sprinter, Nasra Abukar Ali, represented Somalia at the World University Games in China and significantly lagged behind other participants in the women’s 100-meter race, taking over 20 seconds to finish.

Minister Mohamud expressed his ministry’s bewilderment at how Nasra Abukar Ali was selected to compete in the prestigious event in Chengdu, and he was not aware of any proper training or qualifications that warranted her participation.

Adding to the controversy, allegations emerged that the runner might be a relative of the national athletics federation chairwoman, Khadija Aden Dahir. The ministry released a statement instructing the Somalia Olympic Committee to suspend Khadija Aden Dahir pending further investigations.

Somalia’s university union also disclaimed sending any official team, including Nasra Abukar Ali, to China for the games. The video of her slow and lagging performance spread rapidly across social media, leading to widespread embarrassment for Somalia.

The incident has raised concerns over the selection process and transparency within the national track and field federation, prompting action from the Sports Minister to address the issue and ensure fair representation and competence in future international sporting events.