There is no place to hide for Libya’s Soccer players.
Shootings, attempted assassinations and intimidation
– welcome to Libyan football in 2013.
The country’s largest club Al-Ahly, which is based in
the capital Tripoli, had been due to face Tersana
Tuesday in its latest league match, but its participation
in the national league was thrown into jeopardy after
its Egyptian coach Hossam al-Badri was shot following
the 1-1 draw against Al Sowaihili on October 12.
Al-Badri told CNN Arabic then that he wanted to spend
Eid al-Adha — one of the two most important festivals
in the Muslim calendar — in Cairo and spend time
thinking about if he would resume his duty in Tripoli or
The club told local media: “Our coach was shot at, at
his home after a match in the league against Al
Sowaihili that ended 1-1. He is safe but upset after
what happened.
“Three men in a car shot at him. The police have
launched a full-scale investigation.”
Two days later, Libya international striker Mohamed Al-
Maghrabi, was shot in the arm by a sniper and rushed
to hospital where is recovering.
Read: The story of Libya’s rebel national soccer team
According to the club’s official Facebook page, the
incident was an assassination attempt, while it also
stated that “many players from the club” had received
death threats on their mobile phones.
The 53-year-old Al-Badri steered Cairo’s Al -Ahly to the
African Champions League title last November before
joining the Libyan club in May. Club president Sassi
Bouaoun has travelled to the Egyptian capital in a bid
to convince his manager to return.
In an interview with Libyan television, Bouaoun
confirmed the team had returned to training and was
already preparing for the upcoming game against
He also stated that because of the country’s fragile
security situation that there are opponents who do not
wish to see Al-Ahly at the top of the league.
‘Stranded’ footballer Zahir Belounis told he can leave
Football in Libya only resumed last month after being
brought to a halt in February 2011 by the civil conflict
which ousted the dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The Ministry of Sport has held meetings with the
Libyan Football Association and its members in a bid to
provide extra security for staff, players and fans. Al-
Ahly Tripoli had won its first two games of the season
before the attacks
The incidents will cast a shadow over Libya’s plans to
host the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
The Confederation of African Football was not
immediately available for comment on the Al- Ahly
Tripoli attacks.
The country is only just recovering from the
kidnapping of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan following an
attempted coup carried out by political opponents
determined to topple his government.
Zeidan was abducted from a luxury hotel in Tripoli and
held for several hours by militia gunmen before being
The incident, which highlights threats posed by
militias, is just one of several which have occurred
since the revolution two years ago.
Armed militias have roamed the country largely
unchecked since the 2011 ouster of Gadhafi.
Gangs of armed men have surrounded key ministries,
including the Justice Ministry, trying to force out
members of the democratically elected government.
Salah Marghani, the justice minister, was forced to
evacuate after armed militias surrounded his ministry
in April.
Libyan intelligence services have warned that the
country is becoming a haven for al Qaeda to regroup
and regenerate itself.
According to government officials, numerous weapons
left over after Gadhafi’s downfall are providing groups
with different motivations to form their own militias.

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