SPORTS: FIFA Opens Disciplinary Proceedings Into Attack On Liberian Nat’l Team In Freetown

FIFA Headquarters

The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) has written the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) informing the body that it is opening disciplinary proceedings into the September 7 incident relative to attacks on the Liberian national team at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.

Stone-throwing youths descended on the Liberian side which had gone to the stadium for training session ahead of the second leg match against the Sierra Leonean national team in the preliminary round of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

The two teams had met in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, about a week earlier in a tie the Liberians won 3-1

In a communication to the SLFA Secretariat dated September 11, Mr. Carlos Schneider, Head of the FIFA Disciplinary Department, said the probe was in accordance with Article 52 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC).

“We are hereby opening disciplinary proceedings against the Sierra Leone Football Association for the potential breach of Article 16 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (2019 edition) on Order and Security at matches,” Schneider wrote.

He said all relevant information and documents concerning the case file had been forwarded to the SLFA.

The FIFA official invited the SLFA to p5ovide the secretariat of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee its position on the September 7 incident “within six days of the notification communication at the latest.”

FIFA warned that should SLFA fail to submit its position within the stipulated deadline, the Disciplinary Committee will decide the case using the file in its possession.

Schneider also informed the SLFA that the matter will be referred to the next meeting of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee scheduled for September 30, 2019.

Sierra Leone won the second leg match 1-0 the following day (September 8), but Liberia qualified for the next round on goal difference, having won the first leg 3-1 in Monrovia.

The attacks raised a huge debate at home, with President George Weah expressing disappointment in the act by neighboring Sierra Leoneans.

He recalled a similar incident in Brazzaville when the Liberian side came under attack before a qualifying match against the Congolese, which Liberia eventually won 1-0 to come out of the group and advance to the next stage

Then serving as Technical Director of the National Team, Weah remembered how the incident served to bolster the courage and determination of his side to advance to the next level.

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