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Somali footballer overcomes Eastleigh arrest to turn pro in US

Somali footballer Sadiq Abdulqader Mahmoud who was arrested and detained at Kasarani stadium during the police anti-terror swoops in 2014 for being in the country illegally is now a star in the United States.

The revelation was made Monday by Yasiin Juma, who of late has a keen interest on things Somalia.

Juma wrote on his Facebook account: “The story of former AFC Leopards player and Somalia international player Sadiq Abdulqader Balotelli …..I took that photo at his former house in Pangani immediately after his release…he was among the hundreds of Somalis arrested by Kenyan authorities despite holding a Kenya Passport and locked up in the infamous Kasarani detention camp thanks to our pressure on the government to have him freed….the talented chap is now a successful professional footballer in the US living his dream ‪#‎HambalyoSaadiq (#congratulationsSaadiq) Balotelli.”

Somali footballer Sadiq Abdulqader Mahmoud with wrestling superstar Batista. PHOTO | COURTESY
Somali footballer Sadiq Abdulqader Mahmoud with wrestling superstar Batista. PHOTO | COURTESY

He then attached pictures of Mahmoud’s new look. He, however, did not say which club the youngster is attached to in the US.

In April 2014, Mahmoud, who then played for AFC Leopards, was arrested for being in the country without a work permit.

He was released two days later following protests from the Somalia Football Federation.

“The arrest of the player, Sadiq Abdulqader Mahmoud touches us deeply,” SFF secretary general Abdi Qani Said Arab said in a Press statement.

“Sadiq is well known in Kenya as he plays in a top league team and police should know such high profile individual. It is unacceptable that he should spend nights in detention.”