Image Credit: CAJ News Africa
The Rugby Federation of Libya under the presidency of Mustapha Hoty inaugurates today their first state-of-the-art rugby stadium at the University of Benghazi, home to 150,000 students of which 2,000 are studying sports. The modern facility complies with international standards and will facilitate training and the organization of national as well as international competitions in Libya in the future.
The project has been a team effort of everyone involved, namely the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Olympic Committee of Libya, and all the individual contributions. Managers, trainers, referees and officials have all invested their time and resources extensively to make the construction of the stadium possible.
Forgani Abdulkarem, General Secretary of Libya Rugby, welcomes the new stadium:
“This is a historic landmark for Libya Rugby and the result of many years of hard work of everyone involved. Up to date our training and competitions had to take place on inappropriate grounds as we had no dedicated rugby field. I am proud to say that Libya has now the first rugby facility in line with international rules in terms of sizing and set up. Special thanks to the National Olympic Committee of Libya and everyone involved to have made this happen. We are excited to see the first match and are confident that this will only be the beginning of rugby in Libya. We hope to attract young Libyans living in the region and develop many future talents here.”
Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa sees the inauguration of the new facility as a very positive sign:
“This is a shimmer of hope for normality in a country that is struck by tensions and armed conflicts. 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 new rugby ground in Libya will provide a bit of ‘normality’ in times of adversity. This infrastructure is a great win for Libya as well as Rugby Africa. The effort everyone involved has put in is truly impressive and the results are only possible thanks to great dedication and teamwork. I am convinced we will see many talented players in Libya in the years to come. Finally, I hope very soon to be able to visit this infrastructure and convey to President Mustapha Hoty in person all the admiration of Rugby Africa for its dedication to promoting Libyan rugby.”
Since 2017 Libyan rugby has been structured with the following objectives that were set and achieved:
- Discovery of rugby for 5,000 students in primary schools
- Recruitment and training of 500 players of different ages
- Organization of a school championship over three editions
- Organization of a regional competition for young players spread over six days
- Organization of a federal competition for senior players
- Participation of the national team in the past three editions of the Arab rugby championship
- Organization of several training courses in Tunisia
- Participation in three training courses delivered by Rugby Africa: for rugby 7s coaches in 2017, referees in 2018 and Get Into Rugby in 2018