Somália has joined al-Shabab – but not in the way you might think.
Wergiton do Rosario Calmon, better known as Somália, has spent the past three years with France’s Toulouse FC.
But the 29-year-old Brazilian has now signed with Saudi football team Al-Shabab FC.
While al-Shabab, meaning youths, is a harmless enough name in Arabic, social media users were quick to pick up on the names’ echoes of the jihadist group fighting in east Africa.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab has fought Somalia’s UN-backed government for much of the past decade and has carried out a string of attacks across the region.
Toulouse FC announced the move on Thursday and thanked Somalia “for his professionalism”.
— Toulouse FC (@ToulouseFC) August 23, 2018
But the coincidence was too much for some:
“Somalia joins Al-Shabaab”
— Ryo (@ryokyler) August 23, 2018
— Ms. Granger (@somalihermione) August 24, 2018
The Brazilian player is headed to Riyadh on a two-year contract.