TRIPOLI – Belgian manager Ivan Minnaert has spoken out on his experience as a Libya national team manager, stating that the environment is perfect and normal in the North African country.
Minnaert was until recently in charge of Tripoli-based Al Ittihad and he insists working in Libya is not as bad as many people imagine, thus sharing a different view on what many believe are tough working conditions.
Ittihad reached the second stage of the lucrative CAF Confederation Cup where they secured a 3-1 aggregate win over Niger’s Gendarmerie Nationale,
Moreover, the Belgian successfully led his charges to a 2-0 victory in their ‘home’ tie played in Tunisia owing to the FIFA ban on teams playing in Libya due to the security problems.
“My life has not changed since I arrived in October 2018 – life in Tripoli city-centre is perfectly normal,” he told BBC Sport.
“Everybody knows that I was here up until Ramadan and that I came back without any issues. I have never been confronted with security problems.
“In my free moments, I’m still able to go for a walk into town and drink a coffee.
“For me, working in Libya is sometimes easier than working in other countries I have worked in before.
“In the other countries you need to do nearly everything for yourself but here the only thing I need to think about is the work on the pitch.
“The big problems are when we are unable to play continuously as this affects the level of the team.”
As the unrest continues in Libya, every attempt is made to ensure that football continues as normally as possible.
Although the domestic schedule has been interrupted on many occasions with the season halted midway through the campaign, local clubs continue to play in continental games and the national team is also still fulfilling its fixtures.
“The success of any work requires stability on all sides. It is true that we are going through turbulent circumstances, but one of the tasks is how to manage the crises facing us,” said the LFF’s general secretary, Abdunnaser Ahmed.
“We try in all aspects and in conjunction with the Confederation of African Football, as well as Fifa, to take part in everything that we can.
“Our motto is always that football fixes what has been corrupted by others and what helps us is the great love of this game by the Libyan people, and we try to be a source of happiness for them always.”