Startling facts have emerged that playing Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers second leg in the Tunisia city of Sfax will favour ‘visiting’ Super Eagles of Nigeria than the hosts, Libya.
The terrain might have been laid for a home-and-away annihilation of the Libyans, as checks by footballlive.ng indicate a larger Nigerian presence in the Tunisian city than their North African neighbours.
Located 270 km southeast of Tunis, the city of Sfax, founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Taparura and Thaenae, had about 955,421 inhabitants as at 2014 estimates.
Main economic activities in Sfax are phosphate processing industries, agriculture, production of olive extracts, olive oil, nuts, as well as international trade and fishing, because it has the largest port in Tunisia.
Owing to its location on the Mediterranean Sea, Sfax receives half the rainfall of Tunis and less than the major cities of Libya, Tripoli and Benghazi.
Further checks revealed that, being the two neighboring Maghreb nations with Arabic and Berber heritages, the relationship between Tunisia and Libya is sometimes rocky.
Tunisia is known to have some issues with Libya including political differences.
With Tunisia known to be more aligned to Algeria rather than Libya, the Mediterranean Knights are set to be away-from-home in this fixture of their AFCON qualifiers double-clash against their visitors from Nigeria.
Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr said he is aware of the Nigerian tilt in Sfax, and is already expecting it to work in favour off his team.
The Franco-German tactician noted that though the venue of the return leg is close to the border that separates Libya from Tunisia, tension between both countries would prevent their supporters from making the trip in droves.
As Rohr believes there would be restrictions of any mass movement of Libyans across the border to watch the match, he reckons the squad will not have a much support as they would have loved to get.
He added that the level of their support the Libyans would have loved to get for the game will not be the same with they would get had the fixture been fixed to hold in their capital, Tripoli.
Rohr opined: “Sfax is not far from the Libyan border. The fans can come but I don’t envisage a big crowd for Libya.
“It may be perhaps a slight advantage for us and I hope it will enable my players to play with relaxed minds.
“The Libyans are used to playing like that for some years now because of their political situation back home.
“They have beaten big teams and even drew against Tunisia away in one of their previous matches.”