With the threat of the Ebola virus spreading throughout the African continent, Liberia is temporarily suspending the sport of soccer. Officials think that the risk of infection is high in soccer because the game is considered a contact sport.
The virus is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, including sweat. Hundreds have died in Liberia and Sierra Leone after first appearing in Guinea in February.
As this deadliest outbreak of Ebola rages, outsiders are beginning to react in an attempt to isolate the infected areas. Several airlines, for instance, have suspended flights into the region.
Liberia’s ex-football star, George Weah, has been tapped to help the government campaign to alert citizens to the dangers of the virus and how to avoid becoming infected.
As the BBC reports, “Liberian Football Association President Musa Hassan Bility told the BBC that all football activity had been indefinitely suspend to protect players and fans.”
“Football being a contact sport–people are sweating–they do contact each other, and that could result in contracting the disease,” Bility said. “It also has to do with the fans because whenever there is a game, a lot of people come together and we want to discourage gathering at this point.”
Authorities also canceled upcoming visits by FIFA officials to save them from any possibility of contracting the virus.
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