Tag Archives: protest

Benghazi clashes, match moved to Tripoli

Photo: Michael Aron

Damiano Benzoni

Football normalisation in Libya encounters its first halt after the National team played its first International in two years on home soil on June 7th. The match against Togo scheduled at the Martyrs of February stadium in Benina, in the Benghazi region, on June 14th will be played in Tripoli instead after a protest against armed militias in the city of Benghazi turned into a clash between protesters and militias which took a death toll of 31. Similar protests took place, without incidents, in the rest of the country, under the slogan “Elections create legitimisation, arms create a dictatorship”. According to a Benghazian interviewed by William Wheeler of the Global Post, “what happened was tragic, but necessary—the only thing […] that [will] finally strip the mask off the militias masquerading as legitimate authorities”. Continue reading

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A Spring final

Damiano Benzoni

With two minutes remaining, Ahmed Fathi finds el-Sayed Hamdi in the box and serves him. Hamdi kicks low, in the angle goalie Chrifia can’t reach. Al-Ahly has just evened scores with Espérance, whose Walid Hichri had scored the opener from a corner, in the first minutes of the second half. The match is the first leg of the African Champions League final, played the other night and finished in a 1-1 draw at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Al-Ahly can be pleased at avoiding a loss in the finishing minutes, while Espérance can tame its disappointment with the comfort of having scored an away goal. The return leg will be played in two weeks at the Stade Olympique de Radès, in Tunisia. Al-Ahly and Espérance Sportive de Tunis are the most titled teams of their respective countries, as the former won thirty-six Egyptian league titles and thirty-five cup titles, while the latter won twenty-four Tunisian league titles and fourteen cup titles. Al-Ahly is also the most titled team in the continent as regards the CAF Champions League, a trophy the team has won six times between 1982 and 2008. Espérance, the winner in the past edition, had previously won the tournament only once, in 1994. Continue reading

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