Libya Refuse to Give Up Hosting Rights to Major Soccer Tournaments

June 17, 2011

The crisis-torn African nation of Libya is still refusing to admit defeat in its efforts to host three major football tournaments, no rx despite coming under pressure to surrender the events due to political instability and widespread violence in the country.

The nation has been advised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that it would need to make an early decision on whether the country can stage the 2013 African Cup of Nations as well as next year’s African Nations Championship and Futsal Championship.

Fighting between NATO-backed anti-government rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Qaddafi forced CAF to switch an African Under-20 tournament from Libya to South Africa earlier this year and the same fighting has prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone.

Despite the South Africa Football Association insisting earlier this week that it is ready to step in to stage the African Cup of Nations, there with Egypt also waiting in the wings, Libya has so far refused to withdraw its hosting rights.

CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani told the BBC: “Of course we are thinking about it as a matter of priority. 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 2013 African Cup of Nations is still in Libya.”