Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

The Associated Press has a feature on Gool FM, Somalia's first sports-only radio station. Staffed by 28 people—including four women, which is no small thing—it provides a welcome diversion in a country that's still struggling with some fundamental issues.

"What you can see here is that people were not given a full-time opportunity and sports platform," said Abdalle Hassan Balil, an editor at the station. "Sports brings together people, whereas politics divides."


The station provides a mix of broadcasts of local soccer matches, translations of calls for international matches, quizzes, and call-in shows.

The station owes its existence to the 2011 ouster from the capital Al-Shabaab militants, who still function in Somalia's rural areas—the group, now affiliated with Al-Qaeda, attempted to ban all sports within the country as un-Islamic. I'm sure they wouldn't have thought too fondly of whoever Mogadishu's Mike Francesa is.

Somalis find new option on airwaves: sports radio [AP]

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