Street football in conflict ridden Libya
Tripoli, May 6, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The thought of football tournament in a major conflict zone might be regarded as the height of lunacy, but that exactly is the situation in some major towns and neighbourhood in and around Libyan capital, Tripoli.
Street football has become a common feature among young Libyan boys in spite of the attendant danger. They can be seen in almost every street particularly on weekends with older men not only enjoying the excitement of the game but providing security for the young footballers
The popularity of football, especially loved by many Libyan young men, can be seen in the streets and neighbourhoods in the war-torn country.
Adel Mohammed, a young football fan from the capital Tripoli, organised a local football league of young people from different neighbourhoods as an effective way to get rid of political pressure and violence.
Adel told our man Jamal Kamal in Tripoli the rationale behind the idea “Yeah it sounds crazy that we are playing football in this kind of situation. but that’s the whole idea. To reduce tension and political violence”
According to the young football fan cum promoter Libya pre-crisis has always been a delight every evening and on weekends particularly with derby games with Libya’s top three clubs, Al-Ittihad Tripoli, Ahly Tripoli, and Ahly Benghazi face off.
“You see, before the crisis, most of our kids and teenagers usually play football in the streets as their favourite pastime. Most people leave their duties and jobs to go and watch a game and that brings friendship and excitement. The war has taken that away from us. We are hoping that this little gesture will begin to return those memories and hopefully return to good old days”
Asked about the safety and security of the players, Adel said” It would be crazy not to think about that. You see all those elderly men (pointing) they are here purposely for that, battle ready. But we’re hopeful that this will be the beginning of unity among us
Pictures Xinhua Africa