The two-tiered games between Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire aren’t only getting exciting but also interesting with the frequent changes of scheduled dates.
However, as the days draw nearer, many Liberians and Ivoirians are eager to see the 13th and 15th matches.
Besides the three changes of the dates, there has also been another change in match officials.
According to the LFA Acting Secretary General, Emmanuel Deah, world football governing body FIFA has sanctioned the change of the 1st Assistant Referee for the first leg on Friday, November 13 at the ATS in Monrovia.
Assistant Referee Mohamed Bitouta of Tunisa has been replaced by his countryman Herch Ramsi.
Another Tunisian referee, Youssef Essrayri, has been named to take charge of Liberia’s first leg clash in the second preliminary round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup-Russia qualifier with the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Meanwhile, fellow countrymen Jridi Faouzi as the 2nd assistant and Slim Jdidi as fourth assistant will assist him.
The referee assessor is Fall Ousmane from Senegal and the Commissioner is Mohamed Omar Abubaker from Kenya.
Center referee Essrayri is no stranger to Ivory Coast. The Tunisian took charge of the international friendly between Morocco and Ivory Coast on October 9, which finished 1-0 in favor of the Elephants.
It was Seydou Doumbia’s header from a corner in the 59th minute that separated the two sides in the Moroccan city of Agadir.
The no-nonsense referee has issued a record 250 yellow cards and 21 red cards in 67 matches.
In related news, the Lone Star of Liberia goes into the November 13 encounter seeking its first win against the Ivory Coast at the senior level.
Liberia’s results against the Elephants after 13 meetings are three draws and 10 losses.
Nine of the 13 meetings were played on Ivoirian soil, with the last taking place over 20 years ago.
The two sides last played to 1-1 draw in a friendly encounter on June 16, 1995 in Ivory Coast.