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Ivory Coast move Sierra Leone match

July 12, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Ivory Coast has moved their final round of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Leone Stars of Sierra Leone to the northern city of Bouake at the Stade Bouaké now Stadium of Peace.

The African champions will host their Sierra Leonean opponent on 3 September at the historic Stadium instead of Abidjan and the match has been described as a crucial final Group I qualifier.

Sierra Leone’s Leone Stars must defeat Les Elephants if they are to qualify for AFCON finals in Gabon, while the reigning African champions on the other hand only needed a draw to sail through for the defense of their title.

Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Director of Competition, Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, confirmed that it was the African Football governing body, CAF who informed them of the venue change.

“Yes I can confirm we have just received directives from CAF that our match against Ivory Coast will take place at the Peace Stadium in Bouake on September 3, and it’ll be played simultaneously with the other match in group I,” Sesay said.

The Bouake Stadium on 4 June hosted the African Champions Group I clash against the 2017 Nations Cup host, Gabon, which the home side won by two goals to one.

The Gabon match ended the Ivorian fans’ almost nine years wait to see an encounter at the Bouake Stadium, which was renamed Stadium of Peace after the elephants played against Madagascar in 2007 during a period of political tension.

It will be the first time Leone Stars ‘A’ team will be playing in Bouake. However, the country’s home-based team had once played in the Bouake Stadium in September 2002 in a West Africa Football Union (WAFU) tournament. The tournament ended abruptly as war broke out in the country after the first day of action

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