The national Under 20 soccer team, Satellites, will play host to their Sierra Leonean counterparts, Scorpions at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Sunday.
Beginning their first challenge in the qualifying rounds of the African Youth Championships, Satellites will be going into the game to prove that they are not to be overlooked.
They will play to make the return-leg less stressful in Freetown.
Already afraid of the news that the deadly Ebola virus is in Liberia, the visitors may play cautiously and may possibly avoid body contact against their Liberian opponents.
Though there has been unverified yet overblown report that one may contract the virus simply by shaking hands, it should not factor much in the game if Satellites want to win.
To play their best, the Sierra Leoneans will have to accept the advice of team doctor Dr. Kalifa Manneh who recently assured the players not to worry about being in Liberia for the game.
Since a virus is contracted through body fluids and the sharing of personal items, it does not make sense to over-blow the news that playing a contact sport could endanger another’s life.
We need a clean match that can only come when the players play their usual game.
We are yet to receive a report from FIFA’s medical team that suggest footballers could catch “diseases” by rubbing shoulders with other players.
Until such a report is made available, it makes sense to conclude that playing their usual game is the only way to win.
Without any apprehension, Satellites should go into Sunday’s game with all seriousness to win.
Like all things that are done here, inadequate team preparation is even more dangerous than Ebola disease, which sadly was heard commented on by a technical staff member.
And so despite the reports of the presence of Ebola in Liberia, the players must justify their participation and play their best game.
We don’t need part of the U$1.2m requested by the Ministry of Health to fight the Ebola virus, to win Sunday’s match, whether Ebola is here or not.