Libya varsity gets plush rugby facility


Libya University of Benghazi Rugby Stadium Image: University of Benghazi

A new international standard rugby facility was inaugurated recently at the University of Benghazi in Libya.

The Rugby Federation of Libya under the presidency of Mustapha Hoty opened the venue at the varsity, which is home to 150,000 students of which 2,000 are pursuing studies in sports.

The modern facility meets international standards and will facilitate training and the staging of national as well as international fixtures in Libya in the future.

The project has been a team effort and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Olympic Committee of Libya played proactive roles. Managers, trainers, referees and officials have all invested their time and resources in a big way to bring the stadium construction to fruition.

Forgani Abdulkarem, General Secretary, Libya Rugby, stated, “This is a historic landmark for Libya Rugby and the result of many years of hard work of everyone involved. Till now, our trainings and competitions was taking place on grounds which do not sit well on rugby as we had no dedicated rugby field. I am proud to say that Libya has now the first rugby facility in line with international rules in terms of sizing and set-up.”

Abdulkarem added, “Special thanks to the National Olympic Committee of Libya and everyone involved to have made this happen. We are excited to see the first match and are confident that this will only be the beginning of rugby in Libya. We hope to attract the young Libyans living in the region and develop many future talents here.”

Khaled Babbou, President, Rugby Africa, added, “This is a shimmer of hope for normality in a country that is struck by tensions and armed conflicts. Rugby is a fantastic sport to keep fit, stay healthy and experience respect and fraternity in order to preserve the unity of Libyan sport and make it even more visible internationally.”

Babbou added, “The new rugby ground in Libya will provide a bit of ‘normality’ in times of adversity. This infrastructure is a great win for Libya as well as Rugby Africa. The effort everyone involved has put in is truly impressive and the results are only possible thanks to great dedication and teamwork. I am convinced we will see many talented players in Libya in the years to come. Finally, I hope very soon to be able to visit this infrastructure and convey to President Mustapha Hoty in person all the admiration of Rugby Africa for its dedication to promoting Libyan rugby.”

Libya Rugby or the Libya national rugby union team represents Libya in international rugby union. They are a not member of World Rugby, and are yet to play in a Rugby World Cup tournament.

Rugby Africa is the administrative body for rugby union within the continent of Africa under the authority of World Rugby, which is the world governing body of rugby union.

Since 2017, Libyan rugby has been structured with the following objectives that were set and achieved:

  • Rugby training for 5,000 students in primary schools;
  • Recruitment and training of 500 players belonging to different age brackets;
  • Organizing school championship over three editions;
  • Organizing regional competition for young players spread over six days;
  • Organizing federal competition for senior players;
  • Participation of the national team in the past three editions of the Arab Rugby Championship;
  • Organizing several training courses in Tunisia; and
  • Participating in three training courses delivered by Rugby Africa: For rugby 7s coaches in 2017, referees in 2018 and Get Into Rugby in 2018.

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