Libya reveal final Africa Cup of Nations squad

By Bara TaufikBBC Sport
Libya's Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta
Libya's Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta has finalised his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations

Libya's Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta has included ten overseas-based players in his final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Five of those are currently playing in neighbouring Tunisia and two in Morocco.

The Mediterranean Knights qualified for the competition against the odds, finishing as one of the two best runners-up after a goalless draw with Zambia in October.

Libya adopted their new nickname following the conflict in their country that led to the toppling and eventual death of leader Muammar Gaddafi.

They face co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the tournament's opening game on 21 January in Bata.

After a week-long training camp in Tripoli, the team have been finalising their preparations in Abu Dhabi before flying out to their base in Bata on 17 January.

One notable omission from the squad is veteran striker Osama Al Fazaani, who cited "personal reasons" for his withdrawal from the squad in a letter to the Libyan Football Federation.

Ahmed Zuway and defender Younes Al Shibani both return to the squad after missing last month's Pan Arab Games tournament.

SC Braga midfielder Djamal Abdallah will be key to Libya's plans in the tournament; the 28-year-old midfielder has been impressive since making his debut in 2010, in the defensively-inclined Paqueta's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Rabee'a Al Laafi, who scored Libya's first goal following the overthrow of the Gaddafi government in the 1-0 win over Mozambique, is also included in the squad.

After their opening game Libya meet Zambia four days later and their final game sees them face Group A favourites Senegal on 29 January.

Libya squad:

Goalkeepers: Samir Aboud (Al Ittihad), Joumaa Gtit (Al Ahly), Mohamed Nachnouch (Al Ittihad)

Defenders: Mohamed Al Moghrabi (Olympique Khourigba, Morocco), Mohamed Mounir (FK Jagodina, Serbia), Younes Al Chibani (Olympique Khourigba, Morocco), Ali Salama (Olympique Beja, Tunisia), Oussama Achtiba (Al Najma, Lebanon), Ahmed Al Alwani (Al Madina), Rabii Al Lafi (Club Africain, Tunisia), Abdelaziz Belrich (Al Ittihad)

Midfielders: Jamal Abdallah (FC Braga, Portugal), Mohamed Al Snani (US Monastir, Tunisia), Marwan Al Mabrouk (Al Ittihad), Aboubakr Al Abidi (Al Nasr), Moataz Ben Amer (Al Ahly Benghazi), Walid Al Khatrouchi (Al Ittihad), Abdallah Al Cherif (Al Madina), Oussama Abdelsalam (Al Akhdhar), Faicel Al Badri (Al Hilal)

Forwards: Ahmed Saad (Club Africain, Tunisia), Ahmed Al Zwei (CA Bizertin, Tunisia), Ihab Al Boussifi (Al Ittihad)

Top Stories