Liberia has announced huge security deployment for a soccer match against Chad today, 9 October at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.
The high security measures announced Tuesday ahead of the match with Chad follow a previous match between Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone when jubilant Liberian fans invaded the pitch to celebrate a victory in favor of national team Lone Star.
But the move by the Liberian side was deemed a potential breach of protocol set in the sports arena to avoid violence during games.The Liberian side however suffered brutal actions of assaults and insults at the hands of Sierra Leonean fans during a subsequent away match played in Free Town.
On Tuesday Youth and Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson told reporters that 50 officers of Emergency Response Unit (ERU), an elite force of the Liberia National Police (LNP) will be deployed outside the stadium in addition to a huge deployment of Police Support Unit (PSU) officers inside the stadium.
According to Minister Wilson, FIFA seriously warned Liberia over the invasion of the sports pitch following the match against Sierra Leone at the S.K.D. Sports Complex.He discloses that there will be strong security measures instituted for the game today to ensure that Liberia does not run into any problem with the world football governing body FIFA.
Minister Wilson says anyone caught invading the playing pitch during the game today will be arrested, detained and prosecuted.The Sports Minister admonishes all those going to the game to adhere to the security measures put in place to avoid being held by securities.
He further indicates that vehicles will not be permitted around the field except for those with the required vehicle pass.Additionally, he says anyone caught with fake tickets or any dangerous substance will be apprehended and charged for prosecution.Valid tickets are being sold only at Orange booths, Sports Commission, Youth and Sports and Total gas stations, among others.
For his part, Lone Star Coach Peter Butler assures Liberians of the preparedness of the team to win Chad.Coach Butler cautions fans to be mindful during the game as any problem caused by Liberians could result to the country being suspended, ban or fined by FIFA.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill has been appointed Chairman of national team Lone Star's Mobilization Committee for today's match against Chad.
His appointment was announced Tuesday by Youth and Sports Minister Wilson.According to Mr. Wilson, the mobilization committee has started creating awareness through radio broadcasts and publications in newspapers for the game.By Emmanuel Mondaye
-Edited by Winston W. Parley