Tripoli: April 12
Following their stellar performance in the Africa Cup of Nations, Libya has entered FIFA’s top 50 world ranking of . . .[restrict]football teams.
FIFI announced today that Libya’s footballers have moved up nine places to become 46th in the world. Despite huge difficulties of training and organisation in the wake of the revolution, at the group stage of the Nations Cup, the Libyan team overcame Senegal 2-1 and drew 2-2 against Zambia, who went on to win the competition.
To qualify for the contest during the civil war, the national team faced severe challenges over training and organisation and even venues. Its 3-0 defeat of Comoros was a “home” match that had to be played in Mali. Then its no score draw against Zambia was another “home” game, which for security reasons, was fought out behind closed doors at the Petro Sport Stadium in Cairo.
The team’s Brazilian coach Marcos Paquetá said before that match that his men were: ”not only playing for football success for but a new government and a new country”. After holding Zambia to the draw, which meant that both teams qualified for the Nations Cup, Paquetá and his players gave a memorable dance of victory.
Among African teams, the Ivory Coast is still highest in FIFA’s world rankings in 15th place. Ghana has advanced a single slot to 22nd. The other teams from the continent in FIFA’s monthly list are Algeria, Mali, Zambia and Gabon. Egypt advanced nine places to reach 55th best team in the world.