Somalia's national football team players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Somalia's national football team players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Many people identify Somalia as a land of war and turmoil, but little is known about Somalia's national football team. Years of horrific drought and unrest have destabilized football development in the country. However, they have a bright national squad representing the unique country. Join us as we learn about their history, players, honours and much more!

Somalia's national football team
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

When did Somalia join CAF? Somalia's national football team's nickname is the Ocean Stars. It is managed by the Somali Football Federation (SFF). The federation became an official member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1968 but got affiliated to FIFA in 1962. It is also a member of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).

Profile summary

  • Full name: Somalia national football team
  • Nickname: Ocean Stars
  • Founded: 1951
  • Affiliated to FIFA: 1962
  • Joined CAF: 1968
  • Coach: Salad Farah
  • FIFA ranking: 194 (as of December 2021)
  • Stadium: Mogadishu Stadium

History of Somalia's football

Somalia's national football team trophies
Fans cheer the Ocean Stars during a World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on 16 November 2011. The team lost 5-0 and failed to advance to the group stage. Photo: Jenny Vaughan
Source: Getty Images

Football was introduced in Somalia by the colonial powers in the early 19th century. The Europeans initially played the game and later took it to local communities. Three countries colonized the East African country; the British, Italians and the French.

The Ocean Stars played their first game around 1957/58 in Mombasa, Kenya and lost 5-0 to the hosts. However, the love for football continued to grow, and currently, it is the most popular sport in the country.

One of the setbacks of its development was the civil war that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, led by Al Shabab. The militia group banned all sporting activities in the country, forcing many talented Somali footballers to migrate to other nations to pursue their dreams of becoming professional players.

Al Shabab also took over the Mogadishu Stadium and converted it to their training and recruitment centre, therefore, halting the progress of the national team and the sport.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Somalia's national football team world rankings
People opened up a flag of Somalia and Turkey during an event at Banadir Stadium in Mogadishu to condemn a terror attack carried out by Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Photo: Sadak Mohamed
Source: Getty Images

After years of chaos and suffering, the country finally welcomed a new phase of peace and harmony. The country's football federation played a crucial role in restoring stability through the sport. In 2011, Uganda's African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) successfully took over the Mogadishu Stadium from Al Shabaab. As a result, the stadium was handed over to the Somali government in August 2018 for renovation.

Mogadishu Stadium was officially re-open on 1 July 2020 by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. As a result, the stadium hosted its first football match in 17 years. With peace restored in most parts of the country, Somalis now rejoined the rest of the world to enjoy the beautiful game.

Somalia's national football team in the Afcon and World Cup campaign

The Ocean Stars have never made it to the Africa Cup of Nations or the FIFA World Cup. However, they have played several qualifiers for the two tournaments. In September 2019, the team made history by recording their first-ever victory in a World Cup qualifier, following a 1-0 triumph over Zimbabwe in their first leg encounter.

A late goal from Anwar Sid Ali Shakunda propelled the nation to the historic milestone. The Ocean Stars fielded seven debutants, including players from immigrant communities in Europe and North America.

Zimbabwe won the return leg 3-1 after star striker Khama Billiat netted the third goal in the stoppage time and advanced to the group stage of the qualifiers.

Somalia's national football team results

Somalia's national football team coach
Somalia's national football team players pose for a photo ahead of their 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Qatar qualifiers match between Oman. Photo: Mohamed Farag
Source: Getty Images

The Ocean Stars have not played many games in the recent past. However, their performance in the few matches they played is not impressive. Let's have a look at the team's past five results.

  • 20 June 2021 – Omani 2-1 Somali (Arab Cup)
  • 15 June 2021 – Djibouti 1-0 Somali (Friendly)
  • 15 December 2019 – Somali 0-0 Eritrea (CECAFA)
  • 13 December 2019 – Burundi 1-0 Somali (CECAFA)
  • 9 December 2019 – Somali 0-2 Uganda (CECAFA)

Somalia's national football team roster

Somalia's national football team ranking
The Ocean Stars players train in Addis Ababa on 15 November 2011 before their World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia. Photo: Jenny Vaughan
Source: Getty Images

Who is the captain of Somalia's football team? Among the glaring talents in Somalia's national football team is the captain, Abdulsamed Abdullahi. Here is a roster of the players:


  • Mustaf Yuusuf
  • Hassan Ibrahim Al


  • Zayd Fara
  • Abel Gigli
  • Ahmed Said Ahmed
  • Mohamud Ali
  • Yonis Farah


  • Omar Jama
  • Liban Abdulahi
  • Isse Ismail
  • Fahad Mohamed
  • Abdulsamed Abdullahi
  • Abas Amin Mohamed


  • Abdulsamed Abdullahi
  • Mohamed Awad
  • Siad Haji
  • Ali Musse
  • Abd-El-Aziz Yousef
  • Ayub Daud
  • Anwar Shakunda
  • Saadiq Faisal

Who is the best player in Somalia?

Ayub Daud is among Ocean Stars' best players in history. The attacking midfielder is admired by many upcoming young talents in the nation. Other legendary Somali footballers include Norwegian-Somalian players Liban Abdi and Abdisalam Ibrahim.

Somalia's national football team world rankings

The latest FIFA ranking place the Ocean Stars in position 194 globally and 52 in Africa. Although the team has climbed up from the previous ranking, there is a lot still to be done to revive football in the country.

Despite languishing near the bottom of the global ranking, Somalia's national football team fans are hopeful their team will overcome the hurdles and bring world attention to Somalia's football.

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