Liberia First Division champions LPRC Oilers have confirmed that their CAF TotalEnergies champions league first leg home fixture against Moroccan side Raja Casablanca on October 17 will be played in Morocco.
The Oilers were compelled to select a home venue outside Liberia owing to the recent ban imposed on the two popular internationally recognized stadiums in Liberia by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
This latest change means, both ties of Oilers’ CAF champions league clash will be played in that north African country.
It can be referenced that LPRC Oilers board was informed early this week by the continent’s football governing body CAF, that the first leg clash against the Moroccan champions will be played outside the country due the sanction placed on Liberia’s two most recognized stadiums; Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, and the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in the central part of the Liberian capital for hosting international matches of such nature.
In a communication by the Chair of the Oilers Board to the Secretary General of the LFA, dated September 24, the club has agreed to honor their first leg in Morocco which will be their home ground as a result of a ban imposed by CAF on the two major stadiums in Liberia; SKD and ATS.
The communication further asked the LFA to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate the trip.
Ghana was an option where the Oilers would have played their first leg match with Raja at the Accra Sports Stadium, but per the cost analysis, playing in Ghana would have been more expensive.
‘Firstly, an amount of US$ 15,000.00 must be paid upfront to the government there who are owners of the stadium with money set aside for ball boys, security, medics and others. Then taking into account the cost of flight from Liberia to Ghana and later Morocco, it was too much as it relates to cost.’ The Club said in its Friday, 24 September’s communication sent to the Liberia Football Association.
After eliminating Togo’s ASKO de Kara on a 4-2 goal aggregate to book a place at the second round, Moroccan all-time giants and current defending champions of the CAF Confederation Cup Raja Athletic are the next opponents for the Liberian champions.
The winner from both legs will sail to the group stage of Africa’s premium clubs competition and the price money for group stage qualification is US$ 550,000.00 which is certainly a huge boost for the Liberian domestic league giants.
Though the Oilers were not exact about name of the actual stadium to be used in Morocco, but with this change, they will have to be based in Morocco the soonest to honor both legs of the second round of the CAF TotalEnergies Champions League slated for next month.