No Ebola fears: Sierra Leone/Ivory Coast Afcon tie move to Port Harcourt


Sierra Leone 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Group, I contest against Ivory Coast will now take place at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday, the Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed.

CAF ban on Sierra Leone hosting any international football still stands because of fears of spreading Ebola, compelling the Leone Stars to play matches on the road.

“The new venue for the game is now Port Harcourt,” NFF top official Emeka Inyama told AFP.

“But let’s put it on record that we have not received any letter from the Lagos state government declining to host the match,” he said.

According to our sources, all arrangements had concluded for the match to hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, but then the NFF received a letter from the Sierra Leone Football Association conveying concerns raised by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) about playing on artificial turf. This has necessitated a change to Port Harcourt.

“We received a letter from the SLFA signed by Chris Kamara, the SLFA’s General Secretary saying they are aware of serious concerns by the Ivorian Football Federation about their players playing on artificial turf, which is the texture of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.” NFF said in a statement.

This will be the first time that Nigeria will host a competitive football game involving two other countries in their territory.

Having lost their first match to Sudan in Khartoum Sierra Leone must avoid defeat against Ivory Coast to improve their chances of qualifying for the tournament in Gabon in 2017.

By Alie Bittar


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