World Cup Qualifiers: Ghanaian Government Request Liberian FA to Pay US 20k for Stadium Rental

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Liberia Football Association President Mustapha Raji has confirmed that Liberia has been charged 20, 000 United States Dollars by the Ghanaian government to use their facility to host Liberia’s home match against Cape Verde Island next month.

The encounter was expected to be played at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville on 6 October 2021, but the Liberia national team official home ground does not meet FIFA and CAF minimum stadium requirements.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 in Paynesville, LFA President said the fees can still be reduced base on the negotiation between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghanaian Council government.

“We were told to pay the amount of 20, 000 USD by Ghana City Council government for us to use their facilities as our home venue, which we think is too much but the negotiations are ongoing for the fees to be reduced.” The LFA President disclosed.

“The sporting facilities are owned by the government not the Ghanaian Football Association.” Raji further noted.

Also speaking at the news conference, Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson recommended for an artificial turf to be planted at the playing pitch of the SKD Sports Complex as one of the ultimate solution to reserve the pitch problem.

According to Mr. Wilson, Finance Minister Samuel Tweh has consented to allot funds for the next budget year to purchase artificial turf to have it installed on the pitch.

Minister Wilson also maintained that they are closely working along with the soil scientist from the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the pitch meet the requirements for Liberia home matches against Nigeria and Central Africa Republic comes November of this year.

The Sports Minister at the same time acknowledged that an initial of 7000 bucket seats will be in the country very soon to begin the installation on the stadium.

“Our problems for the stadium are not only on the playing pitch, but most of our people don’t know and here is a 12 page documents comprising of works that need to be done on the pitch”.

“Now, if for any reason we fully complete the work on the playing pitch and other requirements are not met, CAF and FIFA will still place a ban on the stadium, but we have done our best to do most of the requirements.” Minister Wilson said.

“For example, the stadium was built in the 80s and as the results, most of the requirements CAF and FIFA are now asking for were not at the stadium, but we have installed most of them now.” The MYS boss added.

CAF on inspection at the SKD Stadium  Photo Courtesy: LFA Media
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CAF on inspection at the SKD Stadium Photo Courtesy: LFA Media

He at the same time named anti doping room, medical clinic, media center, media tribune, modern dressing rooms for both home and away teams and referees and match commissioners rooms are some of the major requirements that have been met already at the SKD.

The Lone Star of Liberia recorded one defeat and a win from their last two opening fixtures of the World Cup qualifiers respectively to the Nigeria Super Eagles and Central African Republic (CAR).

The results put Liberia second in Group-B with 3 points and one goal behind first-place Nigeria who have 6 points and 3 goals atop the Group’s log.

Lone Star of Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria
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Lone Star of Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria

In related news, Liberia have advanced six places in the latest FIFA Coca-Cola World ranking.

This followed a 2-0 defeat suffered away to Nigeria in their World Cup qualifiers opener and a crucial 1-0 win over the Republic of Central Africa in Douala, Cameroon.

Liberia was last placed at 150 position in the world ranking. They now sit at 140 in the World and 42nd in Africa according to the recent grading after the last international break.