Libyan Football Fans Return to Stadiums After 12-Year Ban

Libyan Football Fans Return to Stadiums After 12-Year Ban
Libyan Football Fans Return to Stadiums After 12-Year Ban

The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) officially announced on Sunday the return of spectators to attend Premier League matches, ending a 12-year ban due to the country’s unstable security situation.

In an official statement, the LFF stated that the board of directors had decided to allow spectators to attend matches this season.

The decision followed several meetings with the relevant security agencies, to establish the necessary security and organizational arrangements for fans.

The statement explained that this process “will be carried out according to the mechanisms established by these specialized security agencies, and these arrangements have reached their final stages.”

The statement also noted that “the regulations applicable to sports clubs whose fans engage in unsportsmanlike behaviour, will be enforced. Clubs will have to deny access to fans of any team that violates the spirit of sportsmanship, and fair competition.”

Earlier this month, the LFF issued stern warnings to players and club presidents, threatening severe penalties for any player attempting to avoid representing the Libyan national team.

The LFF is hoping to stop players from dodging international duty, cautioning them of the strictest penalties. The Federation called on international players who have been selected by the national team coach to “fully commit and join the national team.”

The statement affirmed the importance of national representation, describing it as “a great honour for any player. Answering the call to join the national team is a national duty, and the goal of every player representing their country, defending its colours, and emblem.”

The LFF reiterated its commitment to enforcing the prescribed penalties, which include suspending players from club participation for up to six months, and imposing fines for those who defy national team duty.

Notably, the LFF has announced the appointment of Serbian coach, Milutin Micho Sredojević, as the Head Coach of the national football team.

Micho had a stint with Egypt’s Zamalek in 2019, where he secured the Egyptian Cup title by defeating Pyramids FC.

In June, the former coach of the Libyan national football team, Hamdi Battaw resigned after failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The 42-year-old led the Knights of the Mediterranean in three matches, during the qualifiers for the African Nations. He was unsuccessful in any of them. The Libyans lost two games to Tunisia, and another game to Botswana.

“Today we are at the end of the journey in training the national team, after failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations,” Battaw said in his resignation letter.

“I apologize to the fans in Libya for this failure, and for not achieving satisfactory results,” he added.

Bataw was appointed to succeed former Mauritania coach, Corentin Martins who lost his job after a disappointing African Nations Championship campaign.