Libyan indoor soccer player dies in malaria outbreak in team

Jul 28, 2021, 8:08 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2021, 8:09 am

CAIRO (AP) — A malaria outbreak among Libya’s national indoor soccer team has claimed the life of one player while several others have been sickened following the team’s participation in the African Minifootball Cup in Nigeria, Libya’s sports ministry and its minifootball federation said.

According to a statement by the ministry on Wednesday, Ayman al-Naqrish, 24, died in a hospital in Tunisia, where he was transferred after his condition deteriorated.

A medical official who accompanied the team to the tournament in Nigeria earlier this month said that 15 other players were infected, including five who remain in serious condition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Libyan media have blamed the transitional government and the national futsal — as the sport is known in the Middle East — federation for allegedly failing to abide by health protocols and other medical precautions during the trip.

In response, Libyan Sports Minister Abdel-Shafei al-Jweify appointed a special commission to oversee the investigation into al-Naqrish’s death.

Futsal is a form of soccer played on a much smaller, hard court and mainly indoors. The African Minifootball Cup in Nigeria was due last year but was delayed over the coronavirus pandemic until this month. It was only the second time the tournament was held and nine teams participated, including the host. Egypt defeated Libya in the final game.

After the tournament, the Libyan futsal team returned from Nigeria via Egypt. The players were sickened once home. It was not immediately known if any Egyptian players or players on the other teams in the tournament were sickened.

Al-Naqrish’s body was brought home from Tunisia to Libya on Wednesday; he was buried in the western coastal city of Misrata. His death brought back the memory of Libyan soccer superstar, Ahmed al-Buseify, who died of malaria in 1989, following his participation in the World Cup qualifiers in Ivory Coast.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising toppled long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country was since split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.

Oil-rich Libya is now ruled by a transitional government tasked with preparing the nation for elections in December.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Brazil's Neymar reacts after the penalty shootout at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match betwee...
Associated Press

Pelé sends message of support to Neymar after World Cup exit

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pelé congratulated Neymar for matching his national team scoring record on Friday, and then commiserated with the player for his World Cup exit. Pelé, who has been hospitalized while being treated for a respiratory infection, posted his message on Instagram after Brazil lost to Croatia in the quarterfinals […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, embraces quarterback Baker Mayfield after the Rams de...
Associated Press

Rams’ lost season suddenly brightened by Baker magic

Now imagine what Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay can do with two practices together. That’s the prevailing thought around the Los Angeles Rams while they head into a highly enjoyable long weekend after their stunning, come-from-behind, last-minute 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night. “That was a special night,” McVay said Friday. […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Kansas school’s students disciplined for offensive behavior

Several students at a Kansas high school have been disciplined for their behavior during a high school basketball game after a coach accused them of making offensive chants toward his team. Topeka High School Coach Geo Lyons said his team was subjected to “racial slurs, threats and disgusting taunts” by students from Valley Center High […]
18 hours ago
A man holds an Argentinian flag prior to the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Nether...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 18

Highlights from the 18th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Friday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
18 hours ago
FILE - Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud celebrates after a long run against Indiana during the se...
Associated Press

Georgia QB Bennett is old-school Heisman Trophy contender

NEW YORK (AP) — At a time when Heisman Trophy winners are usually on their way to being first-round picks in the NFL draft, Stetson Bennett is a contender from another era of college football. The Georgia quarterback already has a national championship ring and this season he has stepped up his own play in […]
18 hours ago
Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a ball during the penalty shoot out at the World Cup q...
Associated Press

Croatia wins yet another penalty shootout at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — When it comes down to a penalty shootout at the World Cup, count on Croatia to make it through. Twice already at the tournament in Qatar and twice four years ago in Russia, the Croats had to steel themselves for one of the toughest — and certainly one of the […]
2 days ago
Libyan indoor soccer player dies in malaria outbreak in team