The ongoing political situation in Libya has led to government financial problems inside the country, which has had a flow on effect to the Libyan Paralympic Committee. The Committee has had funds promised to them by the government to assist in qualification events, but these funds were never delivered. This meant that a Libyan powerlifter seeking qualification for Rio was unable to attend the last qualifying event, the 2016 IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
Libya’s efforts to get athletes with IPC recognized qualifying times has also been financially impacted. The most affordable event to travel to was an international competition in Tunisia earlier this year, but funding was again an issue. The next option is the 8th FAZAA International Athletics Competition – 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix, which gets underway on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. Libya is hoping to be able to get their team to this event in their last effort to get competitors qualified for Rio. The Libyan Paralympic Committee states that if they cannot send a team to FAZAA International Athletics Competition, it would be the first time in 25 years that the country has not sent a team to the International Stoke Mandeville Games or Summer Paralympics.
The Libyan Paralympic Committee was founded in 1981 at the Libyan General Federation of Sports for People with Disabilities, and has ten sub-branches that deliver disability sport around the country. Much of the recent funding since the onset of the political crisis has come from Libyan social security fund and through the Libyan Olympic Committee with support of funds through the Olympic Solidarity Commission. The country made their major international debut at the 1990 International Stoke Mandeville Games, and made its Paralympic Games debut at the 1996 Games when they sent four powerlifters to Atlanta. They sent their largest ever delegation to the 2000 Summer Paralympic in Sydney, when they were represented by three judokas, two powerlifters and a sitting volleyball team. The delegation shrank in 2004, when they were represented by two powerlifters, and increased only by one at the 2008 Games when they had three. Libya’s delegation was back to two competitors in London, with a powerlifter and athletics competitor. The country’s only medal came in Sydney when powerlifter Abdelrahim Hamed won bronze in the men’s over 100kg division.