By Christopher C Walker
Barrack Young Controllers players and officials were attacked by Stade Malien fans on Saturday evening during the Liberian champions final practice session ahead of their meeting with Stade Malien on Sunday at 5pm.
Around 40 supporters, including kids, boys, and the elderly verbally insulted and threw rocks at BYC players and officials thirty minutes to the end of the teams’ practice session at the National Stadium in Bamako Mali. The Video was Captured by BYC.
The home fans came to the stadium to see the visitors training session, but they turn into elements of disturbance by calling the Liberian team “rebels”, and other derogatory names.
BYC President Sekou Konneh went to the fans to acquire their issues but they insulted him, and began tossing both raw and boil eggs at the team and Konneh. Players and officials of BYC quickly ended their practice session and ran to enter their buses.
The Malians fan continued the name calling, then began throwing rocks and other objects at BYC. The visitors had to cut their practice short because of safety concerns and returned to their hotel.
By CAF regulation all home teams, are responsible for providing security to visitors as BYC did for Stade Malien in Monrovia.
The home fans attacked came just a day to the match on Sunday, Feb 19 at 5pm between Stade Malien de Bamako and Barrack Young Controllers in the Second leg in the CAF Champions League.
Stade Malien lost the first leg in Monrovia 1-0 on February 12, and will have to defeat BYC 2-0 to qualify. Either a draw or win for the three times Liberian Champions will see them through to the next round of the competition.
Since the arrival of BYC into Bamako, the team has been mistreated, they were made to charter taxis from the airport to their hotel. CAF rules that the “home” team should provide internal transport for visiting from the airport” In addition, it took three days before officials of Stade Malien and the Malian FA visited the “Go Blue Boys.”
BYC President Konneh said “The violence was orchestrated by 5 persons who turned up at the stadium and began provoking players, Something like this should not be accepted in CAF football.”
He said “I am surprise that we do not have security with us from our host (Malian FA or Stade Malien) because they promised to give us protection but up to present nothing of such.”
He noted that BYC will complain, and file an official grievance on both the violence and transportation treatment to the Match Commissioner and CAF. Konneh stressed that if this could occur at a practice session he would have serious concerns for his team at the actual match.