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Football Reporting


Filipovic makes bold Libya statement after replacing El Margini

Following his appointment as handler of the Mediterranean Knights, the Montenegrin has promised to make the North African team a success

New Libya coach Zoran Filipovic has vowed to ‘change everything’ towards making the Mediterranean Knights ‘a success’.

The Montenegrin was named as handler of the North African side following the resignation of coach Ali El Margini after losing his first three games in charge.

Filipovic becomes the first European tactician to work with the Libyan Football Federation since Spain’s Javier Clemente who led the country to win the 2014 African Nations Championship in South Africa.

While promising to live in Libya to carry out his responsibilities, the former Boavista, Red Star Belgrade and Golden Arrows handler also pledged to do all it takes to help the fortunes of the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up.

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“I will change everything to make the Libyan national team a success,” said Filipovic as quoted by BBC Sport Africa.

The 67-year-old’s primary goal will be to help the Mediterranean Knights secure a place at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.

With just a win and three losses, Libya sit at the base of Group J that parades already qualified Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania. They host the Carthage Eagles in their next fixture on March 22, 2021.

El Margini walked away from his job following the nation’s defeat to Equatorial Guinea in Malabo, while expressing his disenchantment with the barrage of criticism levelled at him, his technical crew and players by the Libyan public despite the country’s unfavourable conditions.

“The conditions for Libyan football have greatly affected the level of players and that’s what caused these results,” he told BBC. “Their absence had a great impact, as they are important pillars of the national team, and if they were there, we would be able to win over Equatorial Guinea.

“The lack of experience of some players who were playing for the first time in the Libyan national team was why we couldn’t hold on for the victory.”

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Filipovic will lead Libya to 2021 Chan where they will compete with DR Congo, Congo and Niger Republic in Group B. They take on the Menas in their first game at the Japoma Stadium, Douala.

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