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Liberia fumes over friendly, as FIFA plans one for


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Liberia fumes over friendly, as FIFA plans one for Mandela


THE Liberia Football Association (LFA) has reported the Indonesia Football Association to FIFA over an international friendly that was not sanctioned.

The Lone Stars were reported to have played Indonesia in a friendly in Palembang last weekend, a game that ended 2-1 in favour of the Asians. But the LFA says that despite several attempts for the game to be called off because it was not approved, the Indonesians went ahead with it.

"We have complained to FIFA over the action of the Indonesians and have made our concerns known to the Asian Football Confederation," LFA Secretary General, George Williams, told BBC Sport. "We were contacted some few weeks ago by a Lone Star former player wanting to organise the match.

"But we never agreed to it at the LFA level or at the Ministry of Sports. When it became apparent that this match was to go ahead, we alerted CAF, FIFA and even the Indonesian FA that it was not sanctioned by us."

Meanwhile, the LFA is considering disciplinary action against the players who represented Liberia during the game. Apart from midfielder Stephen Mennoh, who played during last month's Nations Cup qualifier against Cameroun, the rest of the players are not members of the Lone Star.

"We will meet on this matter and I'm sure some disciplinary actions would be meted out against these players," Williams added.

Meanwhile, FIFA yesterday said that more than 50 players (past and present) have agreed to play in a special match to honour Nelson Mandela on his 89th birthday. Among those ready for the 90 Minutes for Mandela match on July 18 in South Africa are Pele, Samuel Eto'o of Cameroun, Christian Karembeu of France and Ruud Gullit of The Netherlands. The game, which will be played in Cape Town's Newlands Stadium, will match players from Africa against those from the rest of the world.

"It is a great honour and pleasure for me to have been invited to participate in this tribute to Nelson Mandela, a living symbol of the fight against all forms of racism and discrimination," said Eto'o.

Other players who have agreed to take part in the game include Ghana's Abedi Pele, Lucas Radebe of South Africa, and Andoni Zubizarreta and Emilio Butragueno of Spain. Proceeds from the match will go to programmes aimed at helping young South Africans and will be co-ordinated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

FIFA organised a similar all-star match in 1999 in his honour when he stepped down as South Africa's president.

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