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CAF gives Salone hosting right

December 8, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.

African football governing body CAF has given Sierra Leone the go-ahead to host international matches one month after the country was declared an Ebola free nation.

The Confederation of African Football in August 2014 banned the country from hosting international matches following recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but following the latter declaring the nation Ebola free on Saturday November 7, CAF has finally decided to lift the ban.

Communication of the ban being lifted was done by the CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani, who made the revelation in a letter addressed to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president, Madam Isha Johansen.

The CAF decision implies all Sierra Leonean national teams will now play all international matches and CAF competitions on home soil, something which was not possible since August 2014.

Sierra Leone was one of the three countries, including Guinea and Liberia, suspended by CAF from hosting competitions at home during the Ebola outbreak. Liberia was the first to get its ban lifted by CAF.

Moreover, Guinea is yet to be given the green-light to host home matches since they are yet to be declared Ebola-free by the WHO.

During the Ebola crisis, Sierra Leone was forced to play all their home matches in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Ivory Coast at their opponents’ grounds, which saw them collect only a point in all of those encounters.

Meanwhile, the Leone Stars’ first official home fixture in post-Ebola era will be against 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hosts, Gabon, in March 2016.

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