The world governing football body, FIFA, has accepted a request from the World Health Organization (WHO) for the usage of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia as Ebola treatment Center, according to media release (on www.FIFA.com).
According to a joint FIFA and UN release dated September 11, entitled “FIFA and the United Nations hand in hand to fight Ebola,” FIFA President Joseph Blatter expressed his satisfaction to support the proposed action to convert the pitch into treatment units.
Blatter said: “Thanks to the continuous fruitful and fundamental collaboration between FIFA and the United Nations, today we can use the power of football to combat the Ebola epidemic.
“To allay any concerns regarding the impact of the treatment units on the recently installed pitch, FIFA has also proposed to cover the costs of any damage.”
The release also said: “The commitment of sport organizations to support our efforts is very much welcomed and crucial. It is my hope that many will join in this fight. In particular I was very pleased to note FIFA’s pledge to support health-related measures by agreeing to cover potential damages to the football pitch of the Antoinette Tubman stadium in Monrovia, Liberia that has been earmarked for the use for Ebola treatment centres. ”
It added: “The collaboration will go beyond the lending of the Monrovia pitch. At its next Finance Committee meeting on 25 September, FIFA will propose to use resources from its solidarity fund to support the member associations of the affected countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) in the fight against Ebola. The additional financial support will have to be spent in solidarity with a local UN initiative.”
Madam Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sport for Development and Peace added, “The Ebola outbreak also has a tremendous impact on the sport community, ranging from health treats to the athletes themselves and restrictions of travel affecting competitions and the development of sport.
“National authorities, the UN and the world of sport need to work closely together in order to halt the spread of the disease.”
Meanwhile, Liberia’s football chief, Musa Bility, speaking following the release of a joint Statement by the two world bodies, said Ebola has doomed Liberia's statehood and existence unless the rest of the world including LFA's parent Body Fifa and other well-meaning organizations come to the aid of the country.
Bility said the football house is elated it could assist the Ebola fight by means of the ATS, which is ideally situated in Central Monrovia.
He noted that the LFA couldn’t wait to witness the eradication of the deadly virus from Liberia to resume football activities once again.
It can be recalled, the LFA on Monday, the 27 of July 2014, suspended all football activities in response to the Ebola fight.