Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Revolution Doesn't Interfere With Soccer Match
Libya Still To Host Soccer's African Cup of Nations
Updated: Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011, 9:06 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011, 9:06 PM EDT
(NewsCore) - LONDON -- Libya is still to host the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament, despite the violence that has swept the country since the popular uprising began against leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi in February, the secretary-general of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said Tuesday.
Hicham El Amrani conceded, though, that the governing body for the sport on the continent was considering its options and that a meeting of the CAF executive committee in September could decide to switch the venue.
"Of course we are thinking about it as a matter of priority," he told the BBC.
"All the tournaments that Libya has agreed to host -- not only the Africa Cup of Nations but also the CHAN [African Nations Championship] and the Futsal Championship next year are today still [to be] held in Libya.
"At the same time the CAF executive committee is thinking about plan Bs or plan Cs.
"We agreed an internal timeline [for the] latest moment at which we should decide on switching the tournament to another venue but as of today the Nations Cup of 2013 is still in Libya."
Libya has enjoyed little success at international level soccer, despite the ruling Gadhafi family being fanatical fans of the sport and having invested heavily in it both at home and abroad -- including in Italian giants Juventus. The country has already had one tournament taken away because of the unrest.
CAF removed the African Under 20 championships from Libya on March 3 and later handed it to South Africa.
"It was a challenge; when it became clear that it was impossible to organize it, we only had about five weeks to look for another host," El Amrani added.
"We were grateful to have South Africa ready to host -- they did a terrific job."
A popular uprising against the strongman that began in mid-February has left the oil-rich North African state split between the largely Gadhafi -controlled west and the rebel east.
Since the beginning of the uprising on February 15, between 10,000 and 15,000 have been killed and 925,000 have fled their homes, according to the UN. Thousands of immigrant laborers and other foreigners have also fled Libya.
Copyright 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.
The Confederation of African Football has decided to move the 2013 African Cup of Nations in Libya due to security reasons, following the recent uprisings against Muammar Gaddafi.
“CAF have decided to move the tournament to another country because of the current instability in Libya,” an anonymous Caf official told CNN on Monday.
“South Africa have asked officially to host the tournament. Also, Egypt and other countries are interested in the matter. We will make our final decision before announcing the tournament’s qualification draw next September,” he added.
Caf recently moved the 2011 African Youth Championship, which was scheduled to be played in Libya, to South Africa for the same reason.
- Nigeria begins title defence against Madagascar -Match kicks off 5 pm today
Nigeria will today begin its African Beach Soccer title defence against Madagascar at the Abu Diab Beach in Casablanca, Morocco.
The match which will kicks off by 5pm, will see Nigeria aiming to start on a bright note in order to boost the chances of securing a place in the final as the finalists at the five-day tourney will represent the continent at FIFA Beach Soccer Championship slated for Ravenna, Italy in September.
A total of 9 countries are participating in the tournament which is expected to end on the 19th of June. The Beach Eagles have been drawn in Group B alongside Madagascar and South Africa. Group A is made up of Morocco, Egypt and Libya, while Group C has Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria.
The coach Adamu Audu-led Beach Eagles will play their second game against South Africa on Friday by 5 pm
12 players are expected to do proud in Casablanca. They are, Isiaka Olawale, Abdul Isa, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, John Gaadi, Victor Tale, Maijama’a Shehu, Nelson Onyekachi, Zabi Emmanuel, Babatunde Ariyo, Musa Najere and Azeez Abu.
Nigeria won the African Beach Soccer Championship in 2007 and 2009 but could not defend the title in 2010 as the competition was not held because of the FIFA 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa.
Nigeria has also played in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Brazil in 2006 and 2007, and in the United Arab Emirate in 2009.