Former Somalia keeper Abdiwali Olad Kanyare killed in mosque near Mogadishu

Former Somalia international goalkeeper Abdiwali Olad Kanyare has been shot dead in a mosque in his homeland after observing Ramadan prayers on Thursday, according to the country's football association.

The 39-year-old, who held a CAF B coaching license, had been working as the goalkeeper coach for the Somali youth teams and local side Mogadishu City Club at the time of his death.

"It is really very sad that we have missed a visionary young coach and instructor-- a man who had a great ambition for his football career," SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab said in a statement seen by ESPN. "On behalf of the Somali football family, I send our heartfelt condolence to his family, relatives and friends in football.

"We will sadly be missing him."

Kanyare previously represented the likes of MCC and military club Horseed and Bariga Dhexe during his playing career, with his current employers described him as the "backbone of the team" in a post on their official Facebook page on Thursday.

According to the federation, Kanyare was killed inside a mosque in the town of Afgooye -- 28 kilometres inland from the capital Mogadishu -- having performed Tarawih prayers, which take place after the Isha prayer during Ramadan.

"He was an active trainer and instructor who was always keen to pass his knowledge to everyone who wants," added SFF vice president Ali Abdi Mohamed. "We pray Allah to have mercy on him."

Another federation member, Abdullahi Sheik Nor, also paid tribute to Kanyare's qualities as a coach.

"He was a well-prepared instructor who had an excellent teaching talent," Nor said. "Our next mission was to conduct the same development courses in the Puntland State as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown ends, but I am so sorry that we have missed him."

Kanyare, who was a member of the Somali team at the regional CECAFA Cup, retired from international football in 2015.

Last month, Somalia lost one of their finest footballers with the death of six-time domestic champion Said Mohamed Duale, who represented the Ocean Stars from 1967 to 1978. Another former international, Abdulhadir Mohamed Farah, died due to complications from coronavirus in March.