Somalia: Athletics Chief Suspended Over Sluggish 'Sprinter'

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    The Facts

    • Somalia's Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud announced Wednesday that Somali Athletics Federation Chairwoman Khadijo Aden Dahir had been suspended for allegedly abusing her power, nepotism, and defaming the country.

    • The announcement comes after her alleged niece Nasra Abukar Ali finished a 100-meter race at the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, China, in 21.81 seconds, an effort dubbed the "slowest-ever" in a global contest.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The poor performance of an untrained female athlete has caused embarrassment to Somalia globally. While it's inevitable that everyone involved in the selection process must step down, ministers should be focused on tackling the real issue — the incompetent and corrupt nature of the Somali institutions that have normalized murders and hunger.

    Narrative B

    All this mockery and backlash are why Somalis don't deserve to be represented in international tournaments. Ali did her best to represent her country instead of abandoning the race despite suffering a sprained leg. Yet, her fellow citizens let her down by criticizing and mocking her sportsmanship.

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