Stephen Dunmoye

The President of Liberia, George Weah has granted permission to Sierra Leone to play a ‘home’ African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Mali at Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) sports complex, free of charge on Saturday.

Liberia had been among several countries deemed unfit to hold international matches, but recent improvements to the SKD – which cost an estimated $2m (£1.69m) – has seen the sanction lifted.

Sierra Leone will play a ‘home’ African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Mali at the ground in Paynesville on Saturday, while Bo Rangers and Kallon FC will stage continental matches there next month.

The West African country is not approved by the Confederation of African Football to host matches while its national stadium in Freetown undergoes renovation.

“We have received the President’s mandate, which frees Sierra Leone from paying rental fees,”

“They will only be responsible for match-related expenses for all their home games in Liberia.” deputy sports minister Andy Quamie said.

Liberia welcomed Senegal in a CHAN qualifier at the SKD on 24 July, as the country hosted its first international match since October 2019.

Meanwhile, The Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown is not expected to re-open until 2024 and Sierra Leone played an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea-Bissau in Conakry, Guinea, in June and last month’s CHAN qualifier against Cape Verde in Marrakech in Morocco.

The Sierra Leone Football Association’s secretary general, Christopher Kamara wrote to his counterpart at the Liberia Football Association (LFA), Isaac Montgomery, requesting to use the SKD in the second round of CHAN qualifiers.

Kamara’s communication was forwarded to Liberia’s sports minister Zeogar Wilson by Montgomery, with President Weah then ordering the Ministry of Youth & Sports not to charge Sierra Leone.