The second semi final match between Mountain City and Susan’s Bay played on Sunday June 12th 2016 at the Central One Football Association (COFA) inter community league was disrupted by violence and pitch invasion.
The reason was that shortly after the referee awarded a penalty kick to Mountain City Community supporters of Susan’s Bay angrily invaded the pitch.
According to fans of Susan’s Bay they accused the referee of failing to award them a free kick from which a handball was played out of the 18 yard box before one of their defender Desmond Wellington tackled Mountain City right full back Ibrahim Kamara (Soja) in the 6 yard box which led to the penalty.
They were chanting that the referee easily awarded the penalty to Mountain City because he was in favor of them.
It was at this moment the whole pitch turned into a war zone as supporters of both sides collided and began throwing stones and bottles against each other.
Without delay, riot police stepped in to calm down the situation. But the fans began to cause more trouble, hurling bottles and stones and at the same time using abusive languages against the referee, the organizers and against themselves.
Tear gas was used to disperse troublemakers inside the pitch in Parade ground, Central Freetown. But it was not enough to settle the fiasco among fans of Susan’s Bay and Mountain City.
The police also protected the players, officials, referees and some other spectators, as rioters continued to throw bottles at them.
The bottle throwing continued, delaying the penalty kick and the re-start of the match. It further prompted the players and officials of both communities to abandon the match.
Some peaceful supporters described the act as hooliganism, stating that this should be stopped if the game of football is to develop at community level.
However, the inhumane behavior by fans will put even greater pressure on the Central One Football Association, already under difficult situation as football fans are pressuring them to allow the grand-final to play at the Siaka Steven Stadium so that such incident will not repeat itself again.
As at press time the organisers were still holding a meeting to reach a decision for the outcome of the game.