Monday, May 20

Benghazi Holds First International Football Match in Seven Years

Benghazi_ The city of Benghazi, the second largest Libyan city in the east, witnessed Thursday the first home international football match after seven years ban. Libya hosted neighboring Tunisia for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

With the match played behind closed doors because of Covid-19 restrictions, supporters watched in cafes across the Mediterranean city and gathered before a huge screen in the capital Tripoli.

Tunisia beat Libya 5-2, but this did not disturb fan so much as they enjoyed the fact that their country is slowly moving to normality. Libyan team was coached by Montenegro’s Zoran Filipovic.

The match followed an assessment in late February by continental governing body CAF of security conditions in Benghazi and Tripoli.

CAF decided to allow games in Benghazi first, following a ban since 2014. For the past seven years, Libya played its home internationals in Egypt and Tunisia.

The new Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was manager of the Tripoli club Al-Ittihad after the 2011 uprising, pledged ahead of Thursday’s game to upgrade infrastructure for future football matches.

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