By Sulayman Bah The Confederation of African Football is working on finding a solution toCAF TO DECIDE what becomes a venue saga following Mali’s refusal to be used as a neutral venue for Barrack Young Controllers and Real de Banjul’s second-leg over fears of Ebola spread.The Liberian Football Association had earlier written to their counterparts in Bamako proposing for Barrack Young Controllers to play its preliminary round second-leg against Real de Banjul there, a request the Malian leadership without hesitation, turned down. News of the cancelation of the second-leg comes after Real attempted to fly out and has since voiced its regret over the issue. With Ebola still present in Liberia while the cure for this deadly disease is still not found, neighbouring African countries are understandably apprehensive of playing host to a team from an Ebola-stricken nation. The situation leaves the Liberian champions in dilemma, with Mali being the third nation to reject their request in the space of a month after Ghana and Ivory Coast. Under Caf rules, Barrack Young Controllers could have been found wanting and sanctioned for failure to locate a neutral venue in time –after being suspended from playing at home. The onus now lies on CAF’s inter-club Organising Committee (OC) who are to find an amicable solution. The OC is sitting over the matter and is expected to resolve the issue at least before Friday. A fine or suspension would have been slammed on BYC as the most appropriate measure as per football laws for failure to secure a neutral venue for the return leg; but on account that they are banned from hosting matches at home and their requests to play away shunned, the continental football governing body cannot be anything but understandably sympathetic. Caf laws in respect of the current situation. XIII. COUNTRY AT WAR / SITUATION AFFECTING THE SAFETY OF A COUNTRY 2.1If the case concerns only one country, the federation will play its home match on a ground in another country or a single game will be played on the opponent’s ground. Where appropriate, the Organizing Committee will determine the match venue. 2.2 If this case involves two countries, the match will be played on neutral ground. 3 In the group matches: 3.1 If the case concerns only one country, the federation will play its home match in another country. Where appropriate, the Organizing Committee will determine the match venue. 3.2 If this case involves two countries, the match will be played on neutral ground. XIV. Matches and neutral venues 1. The matches of the Champions League can be played on neutral grounds, upon agreement by the two associations concerned or by decision of CAF Organising Committee. 2.Excluding the group matches, and in case of agreement or decision under these circumstances, only one match shall be played on a neutral ground with eventual extra time and if necessary penalty kicks Morocco or Gambia? Liberia FA had once considered facilitating for BYC to play both the first and return fixtures in Gambia, and, at one point the proposal was been evaluated by the Gambian football federation. But nothing concrete came of the issue. It however still remains a practical possibility cost-wise as well for the Liberian club. The first-leg ended one apiece but whether BYC would risk playing their home fixture in Gambia in front of Real de Banjul supporters remains all together another matter. Morocco who didn’t make a fuss about allowing BYC to transit through Rabat to the Gambia is another possible alternative venue but then again, giving it’s government fractured tie with CAF’s who recently suspended the North African country for refusing to go ahead and host the 2015 Afcon over ebola fears makes it a strange case.]]>

Join The Conversation