In 2000, when Libya first attempted to qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, they could not get past their North African rivals Egypt, finishing third in the African Futsal Championship. At their second attempt eight years later, they hosted the continental event and won all six matches, beating Egypt in the final, and qualified for Brazil 2008. There, they secured a 3-3 draw against Uruguay in their first-ever Futsal World Cup match, but the then lost the three remaining group games and were eliminated in the first round.
There has been a huge turnover in the Libyan squad that coach Pablo Prieto Perille will take to Thailand compared to those who played for the North African country at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil four years ago. The Spanish-born coach, who is recognised as one of the leading Futsal coaches in the world, has been in charge of the Libyan team since 2010 and comfortably took the side to Thailand with a 10-4 aggregate victory against South Africa.
“It is too early to say at this stage what we expect from the finals. But with good preparations, we should be ready for the task. Shortly before travelling to Thailand we will participate in the North African Championships in Morocco, which will be a good test for the team," said Fauzi Belhaj, who is the country's Futsal coordinator and serves on the FIFA Futsal Committee.
Facts and figures
Yousef Bensaed, Mohamed Rahoma, Ahmed Fateh
Qualifying in numbers
Libya had to play just two matches en route to Thailand after their opponents Cameroon withdrew in the second round. They then faced an up-and-coming South African side in the final round. Despite having to play their home leg in Tunisia, Libya recorded a comfortable 4-0 victory and then added a 6-4 win in South Africa in the return leg.
2 – Libya first participated at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil in 2008. Thailand 2012 will be their second participation on the biggest stage.