Africa Defense Forum
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Football Returns To Libya

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BBC NEWS AT BBC.CO.UK/NEWS

Libya is playing league football for the first time since April 2019 when civil war ended the season prematurely.

The new season kicked off in 2021 without issues, but security is precarious. A cease-fire is in place in the country. 

“Libyan football has suffered greatly in the absence of the league, and its return will be a positive for the Libyan national team ahead of our upcoming matches,” said Abdul Nasser Ahmed, secretary-general of the Libyan Football Federation. “This has been a joint effort by all the stakeholders who have encouraged this move and have been working in cooperation with the Libyan Football Federation to overcome all obstacles, whether security or health.”

He said health authorities agreed to the start of the league “on the condition that the clubs adhere to several precautions and in particular that the league will be held without fans in stadiums.”

After a seven-year ban, Libya has begun hosting international matches. The Libyan national football team’s season began by hosting a 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifier match with Tunisia in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on March 25, 2021. Tunisia won 5-2 in the match played behind closed doors due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The loss ended Libya’s bid to play in the next Africa Cup in Cameroon in 2022.

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