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Liberian FA lifts ban on football

Kolubah Zayzay
LFA President,  Musa Bility
LFA President, Musa Bility

(elbcradio.com/Liberia/Jan. 6, 2015)-The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has lifted the ban it placed on football activities in the country.

Football activities were ordered suspended by the LFA President, Musa Bility, last June, because of the then increase in the number of Ebola cases in the country.

Announcing the FA’s action Monday, January 5, 2015 on State Radio (ELBC) in Paynesville, Mr. Bility said: “There are signs that the Ebola virus was no longer a serious risk to playing football in Liberia.”

“The removal of the ban is also intended to afford Liberian clubs the opportunity to begin training for the upcoming LFA national leagues. Liberia’s local leagues are due to kick off in March,” Mr. Bility also said.

He is, however, urging all local football clubs to follow the Ebola preventative measures at their various game venues.

“We will have thermometers and hand washers at various football grounds to make sure the Ebola preventative measures are followed to the rule. Also, we will make sure football venues are not overcrowded” Mr. Bility emphasized.

Responding to questions whether the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was in agreement with the LFA’s decision to lift the ban on football activities, he also said: “CAF did not impose the ban; rather it was imposed by the Liberian football authorities.”

“If CAF had placed the ban on us, we wouldn’t have our two clubs on the confederation’s fixtures. Liberian clubs being on the fixtures for the preliminaries indicate that Liberia has not been suspended by the African body,” the LFA Boss clarified.

“CAF will decide if BYC and FC Fassell will play their home matches in Liberia, or on neutral grounds, if they feel the Ebola virus posts risk to the game in the country,” Mr. Bility noted.

In June 2014, the LFA further noted that it was forced to ban the local football, because the game is a contact sport that brings so many people together at a single location, a situation that causes the Ebola virus to infect many people.

Football critics considered the prolonged ban as troubling for Liberia’s two representatives in the upcoming CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup preliminaries.

Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) and FC Fassell are Liberia’s two representatives in the first round of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup next month in a twin fixture.

The Ebola crisis has suffered football and other sporting activities in three West African states (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) and claimed the lives of thousands of people in the three countries.

“Lifting the ban on football playing in Liberia was necessary at this time, because it will give BYC and FC Fassell the chance to begin preparations for their February 13 fixtures in the CAF Competitions,” the LFA President added.

The LFA officials are expected to begin the inspection of clubs’ facilities in accordance with procedures leading to the issuance of club license.

Football clubs playing in the top tier of the Liberian football league will only be allowed to participate in the 2014/2015 National League, if they obtain a license in keeping with CAF regulations.

 


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