By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli, 22, July 2013:
The country’s international women’s football team is being prevented from playing in a major tournament because . . .[restrict]it coincides with Ramadan.
The team, who were due to fly to Germany on Saturday, were told by the Libyan Football Federation that they could not play matches during the holy month.
“This is not a ban,” President of the Libyan Football Federation, Anwar Al Tashani, told the Libya Herald. “It is just these matches that have been cancelled,” he said, “it’s a bad time because of Ramadan and the team did not get official agreement from the federation.”
Once the holy month was over, Tashani said, all activities could resume as normal. The team, he said, would not be prevented from playing in any international matches taking place after Ramadan.
Libya’s National Team were to have played the German team Heimteam on Wednesday, Palestinian team DIYAR on Thursday, and against the Polish and Ukrainian All Star Team on Friday. Teams from other Arab countries, including Jordan, Egypt and Palestine are still participating in the competition.
Tashani insisted that it was the tournament coinciding with Ramadan that prompted the federation to stop the team playing.
He also criticised recent international media reports that the country’s female football players were put under pressure from radical islamists not to play. “This is not true,” said Tashani. [/restrict]