CAN 2012 a great chance to celebrate Libya’s revolution, says coach

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 21 Jan 2012

CAN 2012 may bring joy back to the Libyans, says Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta, who hopes for a win at the opener game on Wednesday

Marcos Paqueta
Marcos Paqueta

Libya’s Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta insists that his team must win Saturday’s African Cup of Nation’s opener against co-hosts Equatorial Guinea to continue competing in the prestigious tournament.

“The first game in every competition is a key to qualification to the next round. If you win, you are on course and it takes some pressure off you for the remaining games,” Paqueta said at a press conference late on Friday.

“It will be a difficult game playing against the host team. They are playing at home and everybody will be rooting for them,” added the coach, who also confirmed his team is ready for that challenge.

Paqueta succeeded to guide his Libyan team to qualify for the finals, despite the country's protest and taking up of arms to rid it of its late leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

“Last year was a difficult one for all Libyans and we had to honour some of our matches away from home. Participation at the tournament means a lot to the players and all Libyans,” explained Paqueta.

“It presents a perfect opportunity to bring back joy and heal the wounds of Libyans after all the troubles.”

Libya will take on Zambia on 25 January before playing Senegal four days later in Bata.

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