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Liberia Suspends Soccer to Help Contain Ebola Outbreak

CHART: Ebola Confirmed Cases & Deaths

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Liberia, home of former soccer World Player of the Year George Weah, has suspended all activities tied to the sport as the West African nation steps up efforts to contain the deadliest oubreak of Ebola on record.

The President’s Cup scheduled for August will be postponed and all training has been called off, Liberian Football Association Secretary General Alphonso Armeh said by phone today. The ban may be lifted before league play is scheduled to start in October, he said.

“We have decided to suspend all football activity while we help the government combat the deadly Ebola disease,” he said. “We also want to use this time to create awareness. In its initial stages we didn’t give this the attention it needed.”

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf closed land borders on July 27 as the country seeks to control the spread of the hemorrhagic fever that is spread through bodily fluids. More than 129 people have died in the country, which borders Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the outbreak originated three months ago.

The total death toll is more than 670 in the three countries. There has been one fatality in Nigeria after a Liberian man with the disease died after being stopped at the airport in Lagos on July 20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Accra at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Jack Fairweather, Karl Maier

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