CAF allows Libya to host international football matches

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CAIRO, EGYPT – JUNE 06: Confederation of African Football (CAF) building is seen in Cairo, Egypt on June 06, 2019. It is reported that, President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmed Ahmed was detained in France’s capital Paris, over allegation of corruption.
(Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Libya is free to host international football matches following a safety, security and stadium inspection of the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last month.

FILE PHOTO: Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“The CAF Emergency Committee has lifted restrictions on hosting of CAF international matches on Libyan territory,” Africa’s football governing body said in a statement.

“Football matches will now return to Libya, beginning by Benghazi Stadium, subject to a number of conditions being met on stadium suitability to host CAF matches.”

CAF’s confirmation came after Libyan Football Federation president Abdulhakim Al-Shalmani announced that a decade-long ban on international football matches being played in Libya had been lifted.

Since 2011, during the Libyan civil war which resulted in the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi, FIFA imposed restrictions on hosting of international matches in the North African country.

This forced Libya’s clubs and national teams to play their matches in countries like Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia.

Though the sanctions were lifted briefly in 2013, they were reimposed thereafter.

As a result, Al Ahly Benghazi will be able to play their CAF Confederation Cup group match against ES Setif of Algeria on March 17 with the national team being able to host Tunisia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier a week later.

CAF, however, added that set a deadline of March 10 for Libya to comply with the CAF club licensing, safety and security requirements in addition to satisfying follow-up inspections on the stadium suitability.

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