The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) appointed Ali El Margini as the new coach for the national team The Mediterranean Knights, as they prepare for the 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches.
The LFF also appointed Ahmed Senfaz as assistant coach to Margini, while former international goalkeeper Moftah Ghazala will have the goalkeepers’ coach job.
Margini succeeds Tunisian Faouzi Benzarti who left his job following COVID-19 pandemic.
The Libyan Football Federation General Secretary Abdel Nasser Ahmed has reportedly discussed with Margini the preparations requirements, as Libya are scheduled to face Equatorial Guinea in a doubleheader in 2021 AFCON qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 in Tunis (9 November) and Malabo (17 November) respectively.
Margini previously served as assistant to former Libya coach Abdulhafith Arbish in 2014. More recently, he was assistant to Benzarti in Libya’s last national camp that took place in Tunis just before the stoppage caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
Libya is forced to host international games in Tunisia after FIFA imposed a ban on Libyan stadiums in 2014 due to security concerns. However since 2010, the country’s FIFA ranking has improved due to the increasing number of Libyan players playing in foreign leagues.
At the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the team recorded their first-ever win in the tournament outside Libya. Their FIFA world ranking rose to a high of 36 in September 2012. Then in 2014 the country won the African Nations Championship in South Africa. However, the Libyan Civil War caused the stoppage of the Libyan Premier League and severely disrupted domestic affairs.
Libya was eliminated in the first round of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification by Rwanda and failed to qualify for the 2016 African Nations Championship as the defending champions.
Oil-rich Libya was plunged into disorder when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who was later killed. The county has since split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.
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