Since the auspicious year of 2002 when Liberia practically handed its chance of going to the World Cup to Ghana, Liberian football has lost its prestige; and today, thousands of Liberian football lovers visit video clubs to satisfy their craving for the global sport.
Interestingly, we live in challenging times where the deadly Ebola virus has forced the Liberian government to order changes in our way of life.
Though the ravages of Ebola have been felt in three countries, and acknowledged by the United Nations, with thousands of dollars pouring in for rescue, there are still some Liberians who doubt Ebola’s presence in the country.
The seriousness of the Ebola virus compelled the Liberian government to order a 30-day compulsory vacation for workers, and followed it up with a 90-day State of Emergency, with further restrictions. Buses and taxies have reduced the number of passengers they carry, and all schools are closed in the country.
The gravity of Ebola’s effect in the wake of these restrictions should not be lost on any of us, and therefore it goes without saying that everyone must be willing to go with the measures to remove this killer from our country. And as far as Liberian football lovers are concerned, there is a glaring challenge.
The European League that they love so much began on Saturday, and football lovers will be visiting the various video clubs in their respective communities in droves across the country. It means they will gather in large numbers, which is against one of the rules of the fight against the Ebola virus.
Video clubs are not spacious enough to let viewers avoid touching each other; and since the spread of the virus is through physical contact through a gathering of a large body of people, it makes sense that football lovers become aware of this. In plain language, football lovers must not sit in their large numbers in overcrowded rooms, a characteristic of almost all video clubs in Liberia.
Sadly, we’re not living at a period where such discipline is adhered to voluntarily. Therefore, aware of the seriousness of the fight against the Ebola virus, it makes sense for the Government of Liberia to impose some stringent measures to ensure conformity.
Those who may not be in favor to this suggestion will claim that for the GOL to order video clubs closed, would mean denying some Liberians their source of daily bread. Granted! But such people must be told that considering all the measures taken by the GOL mentioned above, it makes sense for football lovers and video club operators to join the fight against the elimination of Ebola in the country. What other sacrifice can they offer in this direction?
It is only the living that can watch football games. What sense will it make when the Ebola Virus is stalking us at our every move, if preventive measures are not dutifully enforced to an indiscipline bunch of football lovers whose major pre-occupation is cheering a football match playing thousands of miles away?