(CNN) — “Blood, sweat, and tears” on the football pitch used to mean a very different thing in Sierra Leone.
In a country where Ebola is spreading faster than anywhere else on the planet — with around 7,000 reported cases so far — each droplet of bodily fluid evokes suspicion.
Here, even a post-match handshake is an uneasy encounter.
In this fearful new climate, football has been banned. And to sports-obsessed Sierra Leoneans, the embargo is tantamount to forbidding God.
“Football is like a second religion in Sierra Leone,” explained the country’s Football Association president Isha Johansen.