Considering the adverse effect of the Ebola Virus Disease on football activities in and out of the country, one of Sierra Leone’s most active football associations; the Low Cost Amateur Football Association (LAFA), has concluded a sensitization campaign of its membership and the Low Cost Community on the dangers of the Ebola Virus and how to prevent it.
The sensitization campaign, which was organized at the Low Cost Community Field situated at Kissy Mess-Mess in the east end of Freetown, brought together association’s members and community youths to effect the Ebola campaign that lasted for a day.
The Chief Executive Officer of the LAFA, Pastor Abraham Bangura Jnr. explained that the essence of the sensitization programme is to demonstrate adherence to the call made by the President of the republic for everyone; individual and association, to come onboard and challenge the disease that is on the brink of ravaging the country.
Pastor Bangura viewed that the devastating effect of the Ebola disease since its outbreak in May of this year, is predominantly being felt by the youths, who form the bulk of the country’s population. And that considering the active role youths play in the football arena, they deem it necessary to muster sensitization among their members and the community on how to prevent the dreadful disease.
More especially, he said, the outbreak of the deadly haemorrhagic fever has unprecedentedly truncated the country’s participation in football activities at home and abroad; a negative development, he added, has the propensity of affecting the country’s world ranking in football.
He maintained that since football activities have been put on hold in the country, membership of the association have, at this point in time, seized the opportunity to organize the sensitization as a way of complementing government’s effort to curb the Ebola malaise.
Therefore, the CEO revealed, to efficiently convey messages prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Al-Sankoh Conteh, who provided proceeds used to organize the campaign, was brought onboard in the drive, taking from his background of not only being a football-lover but his involvement in issues dealing with the grassroot.
As a fifteen-man association, Pastor Bangura said that the association has over the years been organizing community football competitions as a way of encouraging young-talented Sierra Leoneans into the game.
Having held their final competition in the recent past, he said, the association is bound to hold its second edition of football competition in November; provided a lively and healthy environment exists. But as they await the commencement of their numerous activities, the Minister, in his wisdom, provided the requisite funding to facilitate the Ebola sensitization campaign.
In a lamentable sentiment, the Pastor expressed the pathetic situation the virus has landed the country into; looking at the gains the country had started off with in the immediate past years. He said that the country has secured a position of 50 in World Football Ranking and a seventh position in Africa.
Therefore, he averred, if we do not put all hands on deck to combat the disease, it will spell doom for the country in not only our participation in sports activities in and out of the country but in all aspects of development.
By Bernard Turay
Friday September 12, 2014