FIFA: Libya safe to host WCup soccer qualifiers

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ZURICH (AP) - FIFA authorized Libya to host World Cup qualifying matches, saying the country is safe enough for its first international home games since the uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi.

“FIFA has decided to reauthorize matches in Libya,” the governing body said Thursday after the Confederation of African Football previously recommended approval.

Libya will host Congo in Tripoli on June 7 and Togo in Benina, near Benghazi, on June 14.

A previous home qualifier, against Cameroon last June, was played in Sfax, Tunisia. Libya won 2-1. Libya trails group leader Cameroon by one point midway through a six-match program for each team.

Group winners in African qualifying advance to a final playoff round in October and November. Five African teams will play in Brazil next year.

In Benina, Libya is scheduled to play in the Martyrs of February Stadium, which was named in 2011 as a tribute to people who died fighting Gadhafi’s forces.

During Gadhafi’s rule, the venue was named in honor of Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan leader who was an ally of the former regime.

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