Injury deprives Libya of captain Ahmad Benali

By Morad DakhilFootball Writer, Libya
Libya and Crotone's Ahmad Benali
Libya's Ahmad Benali plays in the Italian Serie B for Crotone

Ahmad Benali has been forced to withdraw from Libya's squad for their opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with an injury.

The Libya captain broke a metatarsal in his left foot during a training session with his Italian Serie B Crotone as they prepared to play Ascoli.

It means will be out of action for at least 6 weeks and will miss the Nations Cup qualifiers against Tunisia on 15 November and Tanzania four days later.

Benali has sent a message supporting his team mates and urging them to win their next two matches.

"He is a creative talent and an important player for the Libyan national team and we count on him a lot, but these things happen in football," Libyan team official, Kamel Tarhouni, told the BBC Sport.

"But we trust in the group that we have and coach Faouzi Benzarti has decided not to call-up a replacement and stick with the group we have."

Both of Libya's upcoming Nations Cup qualifiers will be played in Tunisia as the Carthage Eagles act as hosts for the first game at the Rades stadium in Tunis.

They will then travel to the Tunisian city of Monastir to 'host' Tanzania as security concerns mean that Libya cannot play games on home soil.

Libya will face Equatorial Guinea as well as Tunisia and Tanzania in Group J of the qualifiers for the 2021 Nations Cup, with the top two going to the finals in Cameroon.