Soccer News of Tuesday, 18 November 2003

Source: Michael oti Adjei for BBC Sports

Somalia coach resigned to losing

He Does not remember the last time he won a match
Losing is one thing no one enjoys but there is one man on the African football scene who goes into most games resigned to the fact that his side will lose.

Ahead of the first leg of his side's 2006 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier in Accra on Sunday, Somalia's coach Abdi Farah Gella said they did not have much chance of winning.

And true to his words, the Somalis were a sorry sight as they were thrashed 5-0 by Ghana's Black Stars.

But even after such a defeat, Gella still wore a broad smile, happy that his had taken part in a "nice game in which we were up against a better team."

Gella is a man acquainted with defeat so much so that he struggles to remember the last time Somalia won a game.

But the former international told BBC Sport website that he is carrying on in the hope that his team, made up of several young players, will eventually come good.

"Every coach wants to win. Defeat is always bad but I'm patient, we're building and we'll do well eventually.

"We'll keep this team together until it reaches its peak. There're a lot of good young players in this squad and I believe the future is bright."

The oldest player in Gella's team is 25 years but the coach is aware that it will take more than just young blood to turn the Somalis into an African football force.

Gella said the poor state of the Somali national league makes it impossible to produce good players for the national teams.

He also said the absence of peace, law and order in Somalia has severely retarded the development of the game in his country.

"No serious development can take in this sort of environment. Football thrives on money and we don't have that because of our situation."

Somalia are playing both matches against Ghana in the West African country because of the security situation in Mogadishu.