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Chairman of LFF says Libya to give citizenship to foreign players to join national football team

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Libyan Football Federation, Abdul Hakim Al-Shalmani, held a press conference at the Bab Al-Bahr Hotel in Tripoli on Tuesday in which he answered many journalists’ questions, which focused on the location of the six-team round, the cup competition, and the status of the national team.

Speaking about the situation of the national team, Al-Shalmani stated that he requested “the national team to be rejuvenated with elements of experience, adding that Libya could give citizenship to professional players active in the Libyan league based on the selection of the team’s coach, Micho.” He confirmed that the Football Federation had taken advanced steps in this regard.

Al-Shalmani said that the rumors circulating regarding the location of the six-team round are incorrect, pointing out that the location of the round has not yet been determined.

Al-Shalmani added that there is an option to hold the six-team round in Morocco or Algeria, indicating that the teams qualifying for this round will determine where it will be played.

“We still have financial dues and debts with regulated companies and hotels that have not been settled yet.” He added. 

Regarding lifting the ban on the Tripoli International Stadium, Al-Shalmani congratulated the sports fans in Libya and everyone who contributed to lifting the ban, pointing out that the return of the Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi stadiums will also contribute to raising the level of Libyan football, and that “the Tripoli Stadium, with its new renovation and good maintenance, has contributed greatly to lifting the ban.” 

Regarding bringing foreign referees in sensitive matches, Al-Shalmani explained that the clubs will bear the expenses of bringing foreign referees and that the federation will only help them in providing and bringing in referees, adding that “the next Benghazi derby between Al-Nasser and Al-Ahly Benghazi will be held with a full foreign refereeing team.” He added that the Federation is currently studying that VAR technology be permanently present in league matches.

At the end of his press conference, Al-Shalmani asked the sports media to support the Football Federation “because it is part of developing its performance and raising the level of the league.”