Ghana shamed as DR Congo agrees to host Sierra Leone AFCON match in Lubumbashi
Ghana has been shamed after the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to host Sierra Leone’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations home qualifier next week.
Sierra Leone, who are close friends with Ghana, pleaded with the Ghanaian authorities to host their home matches of the qualifiers in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
That is because the Leone Stars were ordered by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to be play at a neutral venue because of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
The country had already suspended all football activities before Caf ordered the match to be relocated.
The Sierra Leonean authorities wrote to the Ghana Football Association to request to play their home matches in the qualifier in Accra but the local federation referred the matter to the Ghanaian government saying that the health authorities must clear Sierra Leone before the match is played.
The match was originally scheduled to take place in Freetown.
With time running out they approached DR Congo, their opponents for the match, to host the game in city of Lubumbashi on 10 September which they have agreed.
The secretary general of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Christopher Kamara told BBC Sport he was grateful to DR Congo for their support.
“I’m pleased to state that we’ll host DR Congo in their country in the city of Lubumbashi. We are thankful to DR Congo as we contacted them at the eleventh hour and they responded positively.
“But they gave us conditions – one of which is that all officials travelling from Sierra Leone must undergo tests for Ebola and then be certified as safe by the World Health Organisation.”
Christopher Kamara added that other nations like Ghana who were contacted as potential hosts turned down leading to disappointment.
“We also approached other countries such as Ghana and Morocco but they never responded, so we are making use of what is available to us.”
Sierra Leone could approach still Ghana to host their subsequent matches in Accra.