Taking Note Of The CAF Fine
By Roland M. Mulbah
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has fined Liberia US$23,000.00 over primitive pitch invasion.The governing body of African football took the decision after Liberia’s Lone Star crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
The crucial match was played at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia where the visitors were held indoor following their 1-0 defeat to Liberia.
Liberian fans barricaded the entire playing pitch after the final whistle in celebration of the country’s win when Malaysia-based Francis Grandpa Forkey Doe rattled the net in the 79th minute.
CAF prohibits fans to occupy the perimeter during the match and also invade the pitch after the match while the visiting team and match commissioners are still inside the venue.
While we welcome the huge turn-out in the recent match against Tunisia where Liberians, despite the torrential rainfall, cheered the red, white and blue outfit to victory. We must take note of this latest punitive action by CAF against this nation, to avoid it being repeated, as the nation has more games to play at the same venue.
Liberians must understand that the ATS is the only field we have now for international matches, while the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium is undergoing renovation by the Chinese.
We take interest in this because if fans are not aware of such rule; this could lead to greater penalty, probably a ban from international games or competitions. We are therefore calling on the Liberia Football Association (LFA) to take note of this and begin to educate the general public about these rules in the interest of the game and the nation.
The upcoming match with Guinea Bissau on October 8, 2015 is a FIFA sanction and if the necessary measures are not taken, FIFA could impose another fine or ban Liberia from playing at home, especially at the ATS.
Liberian supporters must not jump over the barbed wire unto the pitch during or after the match as the match commissioner would be watching to make another report.
Prior to Liberia virsus Tunisia match, Liberia Football Association (LFA) authorities said no tickets would have been sold at the stadium, but tickets were sold rampantly outside the main gate, while hundreds of loiters were seen around the playing pitch during the game.
This is not the first time CAF has fined Liberia. It can be recalled that CAF took similar decision when fans stoned on the main pitch of the SKD Stadium during Liberia’s match against Senegal in 2013.
With this latest development, let us henceforth, be guided by the rules to avoid another fine or possible ban. A hint to the wise is quite sufficient!