The 2014 winners, Libya have released a 23-strongman squad which will play Rwanda in Group C of this month’s African Nations Championships to be held in Morocco.
The Mediterranean Knights are making a return to the tournament after missing out on their title defense in Rwanda in 2016. On December 31st last year, head coach Omar Al Mariami named an experienced 23-man squad for the Championship.
Libya which took part in last month’s Cecafa Challenge Cup held in Kenya has key players such as defender Ahmed El Trbi, a 25-year old medical undergraduate at the Al-Arab Medical University in Benghazi.
Trbi, also regular with the main national team scored the decisive penalty when Libya beat Ghana in the 2014 final in Cape Town, South Africa.
Other stars in the game include goalkeeper Mohammed Nashnoush who plays for capital club Al Ahly Tripoli, Abdelrahman Ramadan, Saleh Al-Taher and Motasem Abushnaf.
Al-Mariami has also called up other key members of the national team including Al Ittihad Tripoli’s Motasem Sabbou and Sanad Al Ouerferli.
The North Africans drew 1-1 with Jordan in a pre-tournament friendly on Christmas Day and are scheduled to face Tunisia this week before heading for Morocco.
Libya drawn in Group C and will open their 2018 CHAN campaign on January 15 against Equatorial Guinea in Tangier, facing Nigeria’s Super Eagles four days later before ending their group stage campaign against Rwanda on January 23 at the same venue.
Libya shocked the African football family by winning the 2014 edition in South Africa at the expense of Ghana, despite the North African nation being embroiled in political turmoil at the time.
Rwanda was the last team to qualify for the finals, after edging Ethiopia 3-2 on aggregate in a playoff that was necessitated by Egypt’s decision to forfeit her slot at the championship.
Equatorial Guinea qualified for the finals following the withdrawal of Gabon.
Mohammed Nashnoush, Ahmed Arafa, Abdallah Fathi, Ahmed El-Trbi, Sanad Al-Warfali, Saad Ejbara, Mohamed Aleyat, Motasem Sabbou, Ali Omran, Ahmed Al Maqdsi, Abdelrahman Ramadan, Abdoulmoien Khamaj, Faisal Al Badr, Shamakh Shamakh, Zakaria Al-Haraish, Mahdi Alhouni, Salem Ablo, Amer Meftah, Omar Orabi, Meftah Taqtaq, Salah Al-Taher, Abdulsalam Yacoub and Billah Abushnaf.