It seems like Orlando Pirates will not have to deal with the 12th man in Libya when they take on Al Ahli Tripoli in the first leg of the Confederation Cup semi-final at the Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday, with reports from the Northern part of the continent suggesting fans won’t be allowed at the stadium.
This will surely be a big boost for Pirates, with the team having to play under no pressure from the home side fans, which are known to be staunch supporters of their club and know how to make opponents feel uneasy.
Earlier this week, it was speculated that Tripoli fans had been allowed to attend the game, but, it all turned out not to be true according to words coming out of from Libya.
This has angered the Tripoli fans, who had showed disgruntlement on social media Twitter with the African Football body Caf, saying the association is unfair on Libya, with Caf having allowed all other team to have their fans at the stadium.
“#Libya continues to suffer with the unfair #CAF! Libyan clubs and national teams continue to be denied from the attendance of the fans despite the CAF decision that allowed the presence of fans in its competitions. The equation is unfair and a clear injustice to our clubs,” @MoradDakhil shared his thoughts on the matter.
“CAF have refused Al Ahli Tripoli’s request! Unfair!,” wrote @LibyanFootball3.
“Other teams can have fans at their stadiums in same competition so why can’t Libyan teams have same? Very unfair @CAF_Online,” said @KofiAsiedu_.
Libya’s ban by Fifa from using their stadiums for international matches in 2011 during a civil war, was lifted briefly in 2013 before being reimposed later, only to get their ban lifted in 2021.
But, still though, the ban of fans doesn’t necessarily means the Buccaneers will have a clear passage against “The Leader” , as Tripoli is affectionately known.
They have had one of the best campaigns in the Confed Cup having finished on top of their group just like Pirates with 13 points.