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The National Sport of Libya is Soccer.

Soccer in Libya brings people together, fostering a sense of national pride and unity among its passionate fans.

To learn more about sports culture in Libya, read our article about the most popular sports in Libya.


#1 History of Soccer

  • 1908: The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) was established.
  • 1948: Libya’s national team played its first international match against France.
  • 1953: LFF joined FIFA, the international governing body for soccer.
  • 1963: Libyan Premier League was founded, becoming the highest level of professional soccer in the country.
  • 1982: Libya hosted the African Cup of Nations, reaching the finals for the first time, but lost to Ghana.
  • 2002: Libya won their first regional championship, the Arab Nations Cup.

#2 Culture and Traditions

Soccer is an integral part of Libya’s cultural identity, with a huge following and a deep connection between the fans and the game. The sport serves as an outlet for people to come together, share their emotions, and bond over their love for soccer.

Key soccer events such as the Libyan Premier League, the African Cup of Nations, and FIFA World Cup qualifiers draw fans together in celebration and support for their favored teams. Public gatherings, family and friend viewing parties, and vibrant discussions about favorite players and tactics are common during these events.

Besides professional soccer, informal local games and neighborhood tournaments are popular throughout the country, engaging people of all age groups and fostering a spirit of fair competition and camaraderie.

#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment

πŸ“• Rules & Gameplay

  • Match Duration: A game is made up of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between.
  • Objective: Teams aim to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
  • Players: Each team consists of 11 players, including a goalkeeper.
  • Offside: A player is offside if they are closer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent when the ball is played to them.
  • Fouls: Direct and indirect free-kicks and penalty kicks are awarded for rule infringements.

βš™οΈ Equipment & Gear

  • Ball: Typically round and made of leather or another suitable material.
  • Goalposts: Positioned at each end of the field, measuring 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall.
  • Kits: Teams wear distinguishing kits, with goalkeepers wearing different colors to stand out.
  • Shin Guards: Protective gear for players to shield from potential tackles or hits.
  • Boots: Specialized shoes designed for soccer’s requirements.

#4 Modern Development of Soccer

In recent years, the growth of soccer in Libya has been influenced by both cultural and technological advancements. New training methods, facilities, and the integration of technology like video assistant refereeing (VAR) have contributed to the modernization of the sport.

Libyan soccer has experienced highs and lows due to political and socioeconomic factors. The nation’s evolving landscape has led to the emergence of new talents, teams, and ambitions. Libyan clubs and players now strive to enhance their presence on the regional and international soccer scene.

Upcoming trends like community developments, grassroots programs, and increased attention to women’s soccer reflect the sport’s continued evolution in Libya. Soccer remains a key aspect of Libyan culture and identity, and its expansion will continue to captivate fans and shape the nation’s future.

#5 Soccer and the Olympics

Soccer has been a part of the Olympic Games for over a century, with the men’s competition debuting in 1900 and the women’s in 1996. Although Libya has not historically been a dominant force in Olympic soccer, the nation’s athletes have participated in the prestigious tournament, reflecting their passion for the sport.

During the Olympics, soccer receives significant attention globally, with countries showcasing their best talent on the world stage. Such events have contributed to the international recognition and development of Libyan soccer, inspiring new generations to embrace the sport and chase their dreams.

#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements

  1. Ali Al-Beshari: A key figure in Libyan soccer, Al-Beshari is considered one of the country’s all-time great goalkeepers. He played an essential role in Libya’s 1982 African Cup of Nations campaign, helping the team reach the final.
  2. Ahmed Saad Osman: A highly accomplished forward who represented Libya during the 1970s and 1980s. Osman scored crucial goals in various international competitions, earning his status as a national soccer icon.
  3. Tariq El Taib: A talented midfielder, El Taib captained the Libyan national team and played in various leagues internationally. His creative playing style and leadership skills made him a fan favorite in the country.
  4. Mohamed El-Monir: A modern Libyan soccer star, El-Monir has played in several countries, recently making a mark in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States. His performances continue to inspire the younger generation of Libyan soccer players.

#7 Where to watch Soccer

  • TV broadcasting and streaming: National and regional soccer events in Libya are often televised by local broadcasters, while international competitions and leagues can be watched on paid subscription services such as beIN Sports.
  • Live in Libya: For a first-hand experience, fans can attend live matches at notable stadiums such as the Tripoli Olympic Stadium, Benghazi’s Martyrs of February Stadium, and Sabha Stadium in Sabha City.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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