Ebola-Free Liberia Able To Host Football Matches Again
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have confirmed that Liberia can finally host international football matches again after the country was declared free of the Ebola virus.
The Ebola epidemic has seen the deaths of more than 11,000 people since its outbreak two years ago in Guinea, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most of those victims coming from the three hardest hit nations: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The West African nation that has been the epicenter of the disease’s spread was banned from hosting football matches in July 2014, when it became apparent that the virus could easily to transferred to people in large gatherings, such as sports events.
As a result of the ban, Liberia had to play their home fixtures in other countries, losing the element of home advantage. They recently played their home match in an Olympic qualifier against Ghana at a Ghanaian venue.
But finally after WHO declared Liberia free of Ebola earlier this month, Africa’s football governing body decided to remove the ban and allow football matches to resume in the country.
For the moment Guinea and Sierra Leone remain banned from hosting international matches, but they will surely follow suit in the months to come if no new cases of Ebola are reported.
Until then, Morocco have agreed to host Guinea’s home qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which begin next month.