The Association of Somali Universities has on Thursday denied allegations that it was involved in the selection of the athletes who participated in World University Games in China.

Dr. Shihad Bidey, the chairman of the Association of Somali Universities, clarified that the universities in Somalia are governed by one association that is registered and certified with the Ministry of Education.

“We have only one Association of Universities that has over 50 universities under its umbrella. The association’s committee has been elected by representatives from all universities. This is the only association recognized and certified by the Ministry of Education,” stated Dr. Bidey.

He refuted claims made by Khadija Adan Dahir, the chairperson of the Athletics Federation, stating that the Universities’ Association had chosen Nasra Abukar, who poorly performed in the 100m race of the competition.

“On the viral issue and discussions in the international and local media about the female student who participated in the Inter-Universities competition in China, we had no role in selecting her or facilitating her participation. The Sports Association has no any sports or athletics committee. Our primary role is to collaborate with ministries and provide quality education,” he added.

Dr. Bidey stated that the Universities’ Association does not have any cooperation, or connection with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He highlighted future plans for collaboration on matters related to sports and athletics with the ministry.

Dr. Bidey’s response followed statements by Khadija Aden Dahir, the Chairperson of the Somali Athletics Federation, asserting that Nasra was chosen by the Universities’ Association and her journey facilitated by them.

“The lady was selected by the Association of Universities, who facilities her trip to China. We only extended our well wishes as they headed to China. We played no part in her selection process,” clarified Khadija.

“The minister has already confirmed that the Olympic Committee and athletics association played no role in the girl’s trip,” she added.

However, Khadija has been suspended from her role as Chairperson of the Somali Athletics Federation by the Minister of Youth and Sports. The suspension is based on allegations of power misuse, nepotism, and damaging Somalia’s reputation on the international stage.

In the statement, the Ministry also called for an immediate convening of the Executive Committee of the Somali National Olympics, aimed to address the matter and determine necessary actions.

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