DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Libya plans to invest 400 million dinars ($314 million) on building stadiums this year as it prepares to host the 2017 African Nations Cup, the deputy prime minister said, amid hopes that soccer can unify the country after its 2011 war.
"Just like Nelson Mandela unified South Africa, we hope to unify Libya under this cup," Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Awad Ibrahim Elbarasi told Reuters on Thursday.
"We will resume construction of these stadiums in June and have asked the government for a budget of 400 million dinars to build 11 stadiums this year."
Last month, Libya said it would use all its resources to ensure that it kept the right to host the 2017 finals.
The North African country had originally been scheduled to host the 2013 Nations Cup but precarious security saw it swap with South Africa, who had been down for the 2017 event.
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