Cairo-Libya’s national indoor football team’s outbreak of malaria kills one player while several others are ill, following the team’s participation in the African Mini Soccer Cup in Nigeria. Libya’s Ministry of Sport and its mini-football federation said it had robbed.
A 24-year-old Eiman Zawahi died in a Tunisian hospital and was transferred after his condition worsened, according to a statement from the ministry on Wednesday.
Medical personnel who accompanied the team to a tournament in Nigeria earlier this month said 15 other players had been infected, including five who remained in critical condition. He was not allowed to speak to the media, so officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Libyan media has accused the interim government and futsal of failing to comply with health protocols and other medical precautions while traveling, as sports are known in the Middle East.
In response, Libyan Minister of Sport Abdel-Shafei al-Jweify has appointed a special committee to oversee the investigation into the death of Arna Krish.
Futsal is a much smaller and harder court and is a type of soccer that is mainly played indoors. The African Mini Football Cup in Nigeria was scheduled for last year but has been postponed until this month due to a coronavirus pandemic. This was the second time the tournament was held, and 9 teams including the organizer participated. Egypt defeated Libya in the final round.
After the tournament, the Libyan futsal team returned from Nigeria via Egypt. The players got sick when they got home. It was not immediately clear if Egyptian players or players from other teams in the tournament became ill.
Arna Krish’s body was brought back from Tunisia to Libya on Wednesday. He was buried in the West Coast city of Misrata. His death recalled the memory of Libyan football superstar Ahmed al-Buseifi, who died of malaria in 1989 after competing in the World Cup qualification at Cote d’Ivoire.
Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising defeated long-time dictator Mu’ammar Gaddafi, who was later killed. Since then, the country has been divided into eastern and western rival regimes, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.
Oil-rich Libya is currently governed by a provisional government tasked with preparing the country for the December elections.
By Noha Elhennawy