African Nations Championships: Libya in, as Tunisia gets fined for late exit from tournament

Libya will participate in the African Nations Championships, also referred to as Championnat d’Afrique des Nations (CHAN) as they take up the slot left open by Tunisia following the nation’s late withdrawal from the tournament.

Libya, the 2014 CHAN champions, were eliminated at the tournament’s qualification stage after losing 1-3 to Tunisia. Following this news, the Libyan Football Federation (LFF) has set the wheels in motion to ensure their team are ready in time for the tournament which kicks off in April.

“We are going to do our best to provide the best conditions so that our team can succeed,” LFF secretary-general, Abdunnaser Ahmed, told BBC Sport.

“The squad is set for a training camp away from Libya before the tournament, and we are trying to provide the appropriate environment to help the technical staff’s plans.”

Tunisia withdrew from the tournament following its local club’s refusal to release players to participate for the tournament which is not on the FIFA calendar for international matches. As a result of their late withdrawal, Tunisia has been banned by CAF from the 2022 CHAN and fined $50,000.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in their country’s local championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the tournament.

Libya will be led out to the tournament in April by head coach, Faouzi Benzarti, who happens to be Tunisian. 

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