By Mohamed Assed.
Casablanca, 29 November:
Preparations for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2017) that will be hosted in Libya might well . . .[restrict]have been given an official, yet belated kick-off as the newly appointed Libyan Youth and Sports Minister, Abdulsalam Guaila met with a number of German companies on the 27November to discuss overdue pre-war sports infrastructure projects.
AFCON 2017 is scheduled to be the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations and should begin in January 2017. Libya was originally slated to host AFCON 2013, but it was agreed last September to trade places with South Africa, the original hosts of AFCON 2017, owing to the impossibility of Libya hosting the tournament next year following the upheavals of the revolution.
Tuesday’s included the secretary of the Libyan Sports and Youth ministry, Jomaa Shoshaan and the president of the Organisation for Development of Administrative Centres (ODAC), Abdulhamid Dbeba along with a number of Libyan engineers and architects.
Guaila welcomed the German delegation and explained that the goals and strategies of his ministry during the next phase will be to provide a safe environment for the completion of these projects. There was a slide show presentation of the different stadiums, parks and other massive sports infrastructure projects to be carried out in preparation for AFCON 2017 and to lay a strong foundation for developing Libyan sports infrastructure.
A five modular stadia for AFCON 2017 was presented, showing plans for the new football arena in Tripoli as well as the stadia for Benghazi, Misrata, Al-Baida and Zawiya. In addition, there was a presentation of an Olympic Village project that consists of the National Stadium of Tripoli; the Great Man-Made Stadium; a Hand-Ball Arena; Tennis, Basketball and Squash Stadiums.
A number of German companies did not attend the meeting, citing the security situation and massive losses they had to suffer during wartime as reasons for their absence. Owing to the Ministry’s lack of any official statement with regards to any compensation deal agreed with the German Companies, rumours have surfaced that the meeting was a mere step made by the Sports and Youth Ministry to compensate the companies for the losses they had to sustain during the conflict. [/restrict]