New Liberia coach Peter Butler was compelled to call-off today’s training session at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown following the invasion of the session by angry Sierra Leoneans. Led by their team manager, they threw stones, urine in bottles and physically attacked and assaulted Bryant McGill, a policy analyst from the sports ministry, goalkeeping coach Sunday Seah and former Liberia international Joe Nagbe, who is an advisor to sports Minister Zeogar Wilson, complained.
There was just one military and police officer assigned to the training session. A request from Liberian Football Association communications director Danesius Marteh for a closed door session was downplayed. Coach Butler has said he can’t play tomorrow under that condition if the security of his players are not guaranteed by the government and the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).
SLFA President Isha Johansen and Sierra Leone sports minister later came to cool down the tension but to no avail. Riot police came in but only after the team was making its way out of the stadium under stone attacks. In a crisis management meeting, Johansen promised to get the involvement of the inspector general of Sierra Leonean police and other security apparatus to ensure that the team trains later tonight under the floodlights. Liberians in Sierra Leone are hereby advised to avoid public places, including the stadium until further notice, according to a Liberian FA release.