The crucial final soccer final between eventual champions, Grand Bassa and Nimba County on Sunday violated a major rule in association football and this must be corrected in the future.
It was the presence of many soccer fans who were on the perimeter of the pitch.
In CAF, FIFA and LFA rules, only a selected number of technical officials, a selected number of sports journalists, medics and security officers that are allowed around the perimeter of the pitch.
Sadly, the law was broken last Sunday and many who should not have been there found themselves around the perimeter of the field. If the law of the game was followed, the match commissioner for the match would have requested that all those who had no business being there should be out of the perimeter before the commencement of the game.
Among those who had no business being around the perimeter were soccer fans, lawmakers and senators. The lawmakers in question abandoned their regular VIP location and made their presence around the perimeter. It was an indication that something was not going right on Sunday.
The perimeter invasion, perhaps, was due to the poor estimate of prospective attendees. For example, it makes sense to believe that the organizers overestimated the number of people that would have attended the finals or they did not.
If someone with information had informed the organizers that at least the stadium could only accommodate 35,000 fans, tickets for the game could have been made around that number.
But assuming that the perennial issue of ticket-recycling had a field day, which it was, with security men and gatekeepers being major conduits, still a group responsible for the tickets’ issue could have observed the capacity of people and institute an emergency measure.
That could, honestly not have made much success but it could have made a bit of difference.
The committee could have foreseen the eventual overflow and predicted a solution. But since that was not done, against all common sense, it resulted into the enormous suffering that some soccer fans went through, with many fainting at the stadium.
The Liberia Football Association may be unhappy for the situation on Sunday, since what happened could bring the anger of CAF and FIFA on Liberia.
The point is any football that is organized in Liberia is, as a Liberian musician said, “their area.”
Interestingly, many self-proclaimed soccer ‘tacticians’ have stated that since the tournament was organized by the Ministry of Youths and Sports and not the LFA, any negative situation would not have affected Liberia.
“That’s not true,” said an official at the LFA yesterday who would not use his name because he was not authorized to speak for the association, “as far as CAF and FIFA are concerned, whatever happens in Liberia that affects football is LFA’s business either positively or negatively.”
That may be so, but are the technicians at the Ministry of Youths & Sports aware of it?
In the end, such a national tournament to celebrate ten years of peace and unity cannot be used to break the rules and stab the vehicle of unity in the back.