***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS IN MY STREET ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
With the Qlamqtar 2022 world cup only about 11 periods away (depending on your own set of menstrual circumstances), I’m going to be answering all the burning questions leading up to the tournament. Today, I take a look at Libya, who are yet to qualify for a World Cup and were eliminated in the second round of African qualifying for Qlamqtar 2022.
Where were you on November 15, 2011?
Nickname: The Mediterranean Knights
FIFA Ranking: 110 (Nov 2021)
November 15, 2011… Need I say more? The day Libya played Belarus in an international friendly in United Arab Emirates–much like September 11th, the day Princess Diana died or the day of Coronavirus–is a day that none of us will ever forget. We’ve all heard, ad nauseum, the stories of how Libya took to the field in Doha against a then 64th-ranked Belarusian side. We know all the juicy details of how the Libyan national football team were also joined on the UAE trip by the Libyan national chess team. We can all still clearly recall, like it was yesterday, the honorary event held in honour of both sports teams at the Libyan consulate in Dubai (see below) and its pleasing turnout of athletes, team officials and diplomats, and our memories shall forever throb with the recollection of the event’s tasteful decor and lighting, adequate catering, and thoughtful placement of one box of tissues per table. The facts that the match kicked off at 4.45pm local time, was played at Dubai club stadium, and that the referee was the then 32-year-old Emirati full FIFA international referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan shall also forever be etched in our memory. Above all else though, we’re never, ever, EVER going to forget that the match ended 1-1, after a Syarhey Karnilenka 77th minute goal cancelled out a 32nd minute Ahmed Saad Osman strike. #neverforget
For a more detailed trip down memory lane of the greatest day in the history of both the Libyan national soccer and chess teams, go here. Enjoy!
One to watch: The replay of Libya-Belarus
There’s really only one match to watch and rewatch and rewatch and rewatch, and that’s the replay of the one and only, the match to end all matches: Libya vs Belarus in Doha, UAE on November 15, 2011. So get cosy, grab yourself a cup of thick, tar-black Libyan tea, some mint and peanuts, get stuck into a loaf of the traditional unleavened Libyan bread known as Bizen, and binge this bad boy over and over and over until your مقل العيون (eyeballs) bleed!