It sounds funny but true as Sierra Leone’s national soccer team will host their Match Day One opponent in the Orange 2015 AFCON qualifiers DR Congo in Lubumbashi, DR Congo.
That is because the Leone Stars were ordered by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to be play at a neutral venue because of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone FA had already suspended all football activities in their country before CAF gave them leeway to host their matches away from Free Town.
The Sierra Leone FA thus asked the GFA to host their games in Ghana; their close neighbours but government’s delayed approval saw the Sierra Leone FA contact DR Congo; their opponents who did accept to thus allowing the match to go in their own backyard.
The secretary general of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Christopher Kamara told BBC Sport he was grateful to DR Congo for their support.
“I’m pleased to state that we’ll host DR Congo in their country in the city of Lubumbashi. We are thankful to DR Congo as we contacted them at the eleventh hour and they responded positively.
“But they gave us conditions – one of which is that all officials travelling from Sierra Leone must undergo tests for Ebola and then be certified as safe by the World Health Organization.”
Christopher Kamara added that other nations like Ghana who were contacted as potential hosts turned down leading to disappointment.
“We also approached other countries such as Ghana and Morocco but they never responded, so we are making use of what is available to us.”
Sierra Leone could approach still Ghana to host their subsequent matches in Accra.