from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – WAR-torn Libya hopes to make the most of the popularity of rugby to overcome its problems.
This follows the launch of state-of-the-art rugby stadium in Benghazi, which is the second-most populous city in the North African country, after the capital Tripoli.
“This is a shimmer of hope for normality in a country that is struck by tensions and armed conflicts,” Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa, said.
“Rugby is a fantastic sport to keep fit, stay healthy and experience respect and fraternity in order to preserve the unity of Libyan sport and make it even more visible internationally.”
The facility has been inaugurated at the University of Benghazi, home to 150 000 students of which 2 000 are studying sports.
Babbou said the new rugby ground in Libya would provide a bit of ‘normality’ in times of adversity.
Forgani Abdulkarem, General Secretary of Libya Rugby, welcomed the new stadium.
“This is a historic landmark for Libya Rugby and the result of many years of hard work of everyone involved,” Abdulkarem said.
Libya, a country of some 7 million people, has been in conflict since 2011 when longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was ousted and murdered.
The crisis peaked last year when the rebel Libya National Army attacked Tripoli in a bid to remove the internationally-recognised government.
– CAJ News