By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 4 February 2014:
After the chaotic welcome that greeted Libya’s football champions in Benghazi last night, the Ministry of . . .[restrict]Youth and Sports has urged fans to go straight to the capital’s Sports City to await the team’s arrival in Tripoli this afternoon.
The original plan for the footballers to go to Martyrs’ Square has been cancelled, spokesperson for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mazin Dribeka told the Libya Herald.
“We are asking people to go straight to Sports City and greet the players there because we don’t want any more chaos with crowds,” he said. After the problems last night, a meeting was held by high-level security personnel and police to co-ordinate today’s events in the capital and prevent any such problems happening again, he added.
A jubilant but chaotic reception at Benghazi’s Benina Airport last night resulted in players being unable to get off the plane for over an hour. The problems continued once the team reached the Martyrs’ Stadium at Benina. Inappropriate use of fireworks inside the stadium left three people injured and caused damage to the stadium pitch, according to news agency Ajel. Video footage circulated on social media networks showed a fan running across the pitch waving the black federalist flag whilst having fireworks and firecrackers thrown directly at him.
The event ended early and the players returned to their hotel.
Today’s event at Sports City will be the final leg of the team’s two-part celebratory tour. “The players are very tired, and some of them, especially those from the Tripoli and Benghazi city teams, need to get back to training,” Dribeka said.
“They will not be going to any other cities but that does not mean the celebrations are ending today,” he said, adding that towns and cities across the country would continue with their own celebrations. [/restrict]