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Sheka Fofanah to undergo trials with Swedish champions Norrkoping

Fofanah going to Sweden for trials (Photo credit: Mohamed Fajah Barrie) By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Youngster Sheka Fofanah whose goal gave Sierra Leone victory Sudan early this month is heading for Sweden to undergo trials with Swedish champions IFK Norrkoping. The 18-year old striker is expected to flyout on Wednesday to Sweden from Abuja where he secured a visa. According to Fofanah’s local agent Chernor Musa Jalloh, he’s expected to arrive in Norrkoping on Thursday and start trials immediately, which will last for at least a month. “I am confident that Fofanah will do well,” Jalloh told Sierra Leone Football.com. “He is strong and hard working young player and has a good future ahead of him.” “Wishing him all the best of luck out there.” Norrkoping had a Sierra Leonean striker Alhaji ‘Andriano’ Kamara who helped them to win the Swedish league in 2015. Kamara is now playing in the United States Major League Soccer for DC United. There is controversary sorrounding the ownership of Fofanah as both local Premier League Freetown City FC (FCFC) and Division One team Giants of Grassfield are claiming to be his parent club. He however last played a domestic competition for FCFC. Fofanah has so far made four appearances for Leone Stars, and has been impressive scoring two goals, one each against Gabon in Franceville and Sudan in Freetown in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)  qualifiers. His goal against Sudan which was as a result of a overhead kick has put Leone Stars one step closer to qualify for January’s AFCON finals.... read more

Sheriff Suma confirms international retirement

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Defender Sheriff Suma has confirmed that he has retired from playing for Sierra Leone with immediate effect at the age of 29 years. The former Kallon FC player currently based in Virginia, USA without a team says he decided to quit to concentrate on his club career. “I have taken the tough decision to quit international football because I believe it’s the best for me.” Suma who can as well operates as left winger told Sierra Leone Football.com. “I need to focus on my club career. I’m currently searching out for a club in US and I hope to soon get one.” “It took me some time thinking about my international career. It’s a difficult decision to make but i just have to give younger players chance to continue where I have stopped.” “I wish Leone Stars the best of luck and I pray that we defeat Ivory Coast and qualify for the 2017 Nations Cup finals.” Suma’s last game for Sierra Leone was against Chad in N’jamena in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October last year. His international career with Leone Stars started in 2006 against Mali in Freetown in a 2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier which ended goalless. Suma went on to win over 30 caps, but was unfortunate not to play in a major tournament with the Leone Stars. He said: “I regret a lot not playing a major tournament with Leone Stars.” “I really wanted to play the Nations Cup. We came close twice to qualify for the finals. We were knocked out by just a point... read more

Defender Alie Sesay explains decision to leave Leicester City

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sierra Leonean international Alie Sesay says he decided to leave Premier League champions Leicester city for English fourth tier side Barnet FC to seek first team football. The 21-year old defender made the move last January before Leicester City were crowned English champions. “It was a move i needed to make for my career,” Sesay who only played for the Leicester youth team told Sierra Leone Football.com. He was unable to make it to the Leicester’s senior team since joining the English champions in the 2010/2011 season. Sesay added: “I made the move to seek first team football and to gain exposure.” “The chances of me to be in the Leicester first team were very slim because of how well the team were doing in the Premier League.” “That was why I took the chance when it came to leave the club to go to Barnet.” “I’m happy for Leicester for winning the Premier League and I think they 100% deserved it.” Sesay who is a product of Arsenal academy is happy at Barnet FC and is aiming to play in one of the big leagues in Europe. “I’m happy at Barnet as  I’ve played 13 games upon arrival last season and I hope to play regularly next season.” “I knew I would play first team football in Barnet that was why I joined the club.” “This is a stepping stone for better things to come. My aim is to play in one of the bigger leagues in Europe.” During his spell with Leicester, Sesay was twice loaned out to League one side Colchester... read more

Sierra Leone withdraw from CAF U-17 qualifiers

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sierra Stars have been withdrawn from the 2017 U-17 Africa Cup Nations qualifiers by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) ahead of their first round qualifying matches against Benin. The withdrawal may see Sierra Stars face suspension from the qualifiers of the 2019 edition in accordance with the regulations of Africa’s football governing body, CAF. The SLFA Director of competition Sorie Ibrahim Sesay told Sierra Leone Football.com that: “We have pulled out due to lack of funds.” Sierra Leone Football.com understands that the SLFA needed thousands of United Stars dollars for Sierra Stars players to do MRI tests and also finance the team’s trip to Benin to honour their first round leg match slated for June 26. The SLFA was unable to raise the money and was left with no option but to pull out of the qualifiers. The withdrawal came after match officials have already been designated by CAF to officiate the two legs. Burkinabe referees had been put in charge of the first leg in Benin while the return leg in Sierra Leone was to be officiated by Senegalese referees. The withdrawal means that Benin have now advanced to the second round of the qualifiers without kicking a ball. The finals will be held in Madagascar with most of matches expected to take place in the capital city of Antananarivo. Sierra Leone are the sixth country to pull out of the 2017 U-17 qualifiers after Liberia, DR Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mauritius. This is the second time in row Sierra Stars have withdrawn of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.... read more

Kargbo: Joining Crystal Palace is a dream come true

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sierra Leonean born teenage striker Ibrahim Kargbo Jnr. says joining English Premier League club Crystal Palace is a “dream come true” for him. The 16-year old who is the son of former Leone Stars captain Ibrahim ‘Obrey’ Kargbo joined Crystal Palace on a three-year deal last Tuesday. “I’m very happy to join Crystal Palace as it’s a dream come true,” Kargbo Jnr. told Sierra Leone Football.com, adding that: “I’m looking forward to next season.” But he’s expected to start his Crystal Palace career next season with one of the club’s junior teams not with the senior side playing in the Premier League. Kargbo Jnr. has however, set himself a target on what he wants to achieve next season. He said: “What I want to achieve next season is to break into the first eleven of the U-18 team and then the U-21.” “By God’s grace I will try my best to be given the chance to play in the Palace’s first team in the not too distance future.” ‘Obrey’ Kargbo believes his son will do well at Crystal Palace. “I’m confident that my son will deliver at Palace because he’s a good striker who can score goals,” said ‘Obrey’ Kargbo. “He was the top goal scorer for Reading U-14 and U-15 teams for two years.” “I feel so good about my son. He makes me a proud father and I’m proud of him.” Kargbo Jnr. is the second player with Sierra Leonean connection currently with Crystal Palace. The other is the Sierra Leone Football.com 2014 and 2015 young player of the year Sullay... read more

Teteh Bangura parts company with Swedish club GAIS

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sierra Leonean striker Ibrahim Teteh Bangura has had his contract with Swedish second tier league side GAIS discontinued with immediate effect due to injury. It comes three months after the 26-year old joined the Gothenburg based club in a bid to resurrect his career hits by long periods of injuries. The club issued out a statement on its website stating that: “GAIS has chosen not to take the opportunity to continue the entire 2016 season without Teteh Bangura in the squad. “The part of the agreement with Bangura enables a termination at the end of June will rather take effect immediately.” “Bangura has had an injury the full period he was with GAIS and talks with the player and his agent were amicable and understandable about the contract termination.” GAIS Sporting Director Fredrik Molin said: “We hope Teteh sorts out his injury troubles and we wish him luck in the future,” He added: “He’s a great guy with a passion for football. And if he is injury-free he can deliver any day of the week. At this time, we need to think about Gais.” The former Kallon FC forward only started two games in the Superettan this season. Bangura was an unused sub in Leone Stars’ 1-0 home win over Sudan in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers last Saturday. The former Sierra Leone Premier top goal scorer had a good 2011 season in Sweden scoring 15 goals in 17 appearances for former Swedish champions AIK Stockholm before he was sold to Turkisk club Bursaspor. The Turkish top flight league club loaned... read more

Leone Stars coach Sellas Tetteh pays tribute to Stephen Keshi

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Leone Stars head coach Sellas Tetteh has paid tribute to late Nigerian international and coach Stephen Keshi describing him as “genius who set a lasting landmark discharging his noble duties.” Keshi, the charismatic footballing legend known as the ‘Big boss’ died in the early hours of Wednesday in Benin City, Edo state of a suspected heart attack, six months after his wife Kate passed away. He was one of the finest central defenders, leaders and coaches Africa has produced. “You had a distinguished career as a player and as a Coach,” said Coach Tetteh. Keshi remains one of two Africans who won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as both a player and coach. The other is Egypt’s Mamoud El Gohary. He skippered the Super Eagles to win the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia beating Zambia in the finals. And he won the 2013 AFCON in South Africa with Super Eagles as coach. “You set a lasting landmark discharging your noble duties,” Coach Tetteh added. “You printed your name with excellence everywhere you had the opportunity.” “Nigeria and Africa have lost a genius.” Keshi, a two-time CAF African coach of the year also coached Togo and Mali and qualified the former to the 2006 World Cup and AFCON finals. He was in charge of Super Eagles at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where he made history by becoming the first African coach to take an African team to the knock stages of the World Cup. Coach Tetteh concluded: “I statute you as a colleague, a brother, a friend and a hero that will... read more

Why Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce will be a Sierra Leone fan for the day next season

  Lamine Kone of Sunderland scores his team’s second goal By Stuart Rayner Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce will be a Sierra Leone fan for the day in September after they kept up the pressure on Ivory Coast in Saturday’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Wins for both set up a Group I decider in Ivory Coast on September 3. The hosts need to avoid defeat to defend their title in the 2017 African Cup of Nations, which takes place in Gabon in January and early February. That could take Black Cats centre-back Lamine Kone out of the equation for an important part of the campaign. Kone has been a rock in Sunderland’s defence since joining from Lorient in January after a protracted transfer. The 27-year-old played 66 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Gabon in Bouake before withdrawing with a minor knock. Bristol City’s Jonathan Kodjia and Ismael Diomande scored for the reigning champions, with Malick Evouna netting a consolation goal for the visitors. The Leone Stars’ 1-0 home win over Sudan meant it was not enough for the Elephants to book their place in Gabon. Wahbi Khazri’s Tunisia will also qualify if they can avoid defeat at home to Liberia in the final round of qualifying matches. The tournament has long been an irritation for Premier League managers, taking key players away for an important part of the season from around FA Cup weekend into February in the case of the more successful sides. As English football has no winter break, the effect on their teams is maximised. Meanwhile, Patrick van Aanholt played 90 minutes and nearly created... read more

Leading goal scorer Lamin Suma scores again

Philadelphia Fury striker Lamin Suma By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sierra Leonean attacking midfielder Lamin Suma scored again and provided an assist as he helped Philadelphia Fury to a 4-0 win over Delaware FC in the American Soccer League (ASL) over the weekend. The former Mighty Blackpool player has now scored nine goals in seven games and he’s so far the top goal scorer in the ASL. He has also provided three assists so far. “I feel great scoring goals,” Suma told Sierra Leone Football.com “I’m putting on a lot of work and I’m seeing the results”. Philadelphia Fury are on top of the ASL table. Suma joined Philadelphia Fury few months ago as free agent... read more

9-yr-old Salone soccer prodigy voted Best player at English Club

Sanusi Jabbie By Osman Benk Sankoh Dutch born UK based and of Sierra Leonean parentage, Sanusi Jabbie has been overwhelmingly voted Best player at his Cheshunt Football Club U-9 team over the weekend. The lad was also voted Player’s player and Parent’s player. Sanusi who wears the No. 6 jersey and also captain’s his side received the triple accolades at his club’s end of season presentation ceremony after been voted by the coaches, fellow players and parents to win the awards. This recognition, according to his proud dad came in barely two years after the defensive midfielder who idolises Mamadou Sahkor of Liverpool and dreams of one day playing for Tottenham or Liverpool in the English premiership joined the youth side of Cheshunt. Speaking after the award, Sanusi who was over the moon said he was pleasantly surprised. “I was not expecting to grab all three awards at the same time.” His mum was speechless. His dad said he was honored and proud of his son’s achievements and: “I feel like my effort is not going in vain.” Asked which country of the three he would like to play for if he turns out to be a successful player, the prodigy said it is too early for him now to make a decision. “I want to first of all concentrate on improving my skills as a footballer and when that time comes for me to choose, I will actively consider mama Salone,” he said with a broad smile. Cheshunt is an English association football club based in the town of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Its senior team is currently playing in the... read more

Leone Stars secure an important win over Sudan

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown A second half goal by striker Sheka Fofanah secured a 1-0 win for Leone Stars over Sudan in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) penultimate round qualifier at the Siaka Stevens stadium in Freetown on Saturday. FIFA executive council member Madam Lydia Nsekera who was guest of Sierra Leone FA boss Isha Johansen, and Sports Minister Ahmed Khanou were among thousands of people who witnessed the group I crucial match. But the Siaka Stevens Stadium was not jam-packed. Leone Stars captain Umaru ‘Zingalay’ Bangura received an award for his good leadership qualities presented to him by Lydia Nsekera just before the game started. The victory was important for Leone Stars who defeated Sudan for the first time in the history of football, and are now one more win away to qualify for the AFCON finals for the first time since 1996. Sudan are now out of the race, and the battle is now between Sierra Leone and African champions Ivory Coast as only the team that finish top of group I will qualify. Leone Stars who started the game with seven foreign based players dominated possession particularly in first half and created chances. Sudan raised their game in the second half to make it difficult for Sierra Leone, but didn’t create any chances. Turkey based Alfred ‘Zagalo’ Sankoh should have got the opening goal for Leone Stars in the 12th minute as he volleyed over the cross bar a loose ball in the box after Fofanah was late to meet George Davies’ right wing low cross. Thirteen minutes later Julius Woobay who won... read more

Sierra Leone vs Sudan

Final Score Sierra Leone 1 Sudan 0 Sheka Fofanah 64th minute Match Report to follow. Leone Stars Line-Up 1.Zombo Morris 15.Yeami Dunia 6.Abu Kanu 18.David Simbo 17.Umaru ‘Zingalay’ Bangura (Capt) 4.Mohamed ‘Medo’ kamara 7.Kwami Quee 13.Alfred ‘Zagalo’ Sankoh 14.George ‘Kwaku’ Davies 11.Gibrilla Woobay 9.Sheka Fofanah Subs 16.Unisa Koroma (GK) 2.Kemson Fofanah 8.Abdul ‘Buduski’ Sesay 3.Mohamed L Bangura 10.Mustapha ‘Hadji’ Bangura 12.John Bankole Kamara 5.Ibrahim Teteh Bangura   Sudan Line-up against Leone Stars Referees from Cameroon Captain Umaru Bangura receiving leadership award from Fifa executive council member Leone Stars Goal vs Sudan        ... read more

Coach Teteh: I’m sure we’ll defeat Sudan

Coach Teteh (Photo Credit:Mohamed Fajah Barrie) By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Leone Stars Coach Sellas Teteh says he’s sure of his team getting a win over Sudan when the two teams face each other at the National Stadium in Freetown on Saturday. The match which commences at 16:30GMT is one of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) penultimate round of qualifying fixtures scheduled for the weekend. “I’m confident that we’ll win the match because I’m satisfied with the preparations,” Coach Teteh told Sierra Leone Football.com. “The atmosphere this time is different as every body is involved. I feel much more confident.” Leone Stars have assembled a large provisional squad of 14 foreign-based and ten local-based players for the game. They are all look fit for the game. Sudan who drew with Kenya 1-1 in Nairobi in a warm up game for the group I do-or-die battle are in Freetown with 20 players. The Sudanese arrived in Freetown on Wednesday determined to get a good result over Leone Stars. But Leone Stars are more determined to bring smiles to the faces of Sierra Leoneans. Coach Teteh said: “We have a large squad dominated by foreign-based players to select from this time and it’s healthy for the team.” Leone Stars have one point and are bottom of group I that only has one qualifying slot. Sudan are second with four points and African champions Ivory Coast are on top of the group with five points. Therefore Saturday’s match is crucial as it’s a must win game for Leone Stars if they are to remain in contention for a place... read more

Skipper Bangura assures Sierra Leoneans of victory over Sudan

Leone Stars players praying to mark the end of one of their training sessions (Photo Credit: Mohamed Fajah Barrie) By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Leone Stars captain Umaru ‘Zingalay’ Bangura has assured Sierra Leoneans that they would defeat Sudan when the two teams meet in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group I qualifier in Freetown on Saturday. Sierra Leone need to get victories against Sudan and Ivory Coast in their last match of the qualifers if they are to qualify for January’s finals to be staged in Gabon. “We need to win at all costs,” Bangura told Sierra Leone Football.com. “I want to assure Sierra Leoneans that we’ll defeat Sudan.” “And that’s why we are calling on them to show up at the stadium in thousands to support us.” “We’ll not let them down. We’ll make sure that they return home with smiles on their faces.” Bangura is among 14 foreign based players currently in Freetown for the crucial encounter. They have already had several training sessions together with 10 home-based footballers under the control of Head coach Sellas Teteh and his assistant John Keister. The overseas players are all based in Europe including Julius Gibrilla Woobay, Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara, Mustapha ‘Hadji’ Bangura, David Simbo, Alhassan ‘Crespo’ Kamara. Others are Alfred ‘Zagalo’ Sankoh, Hassan ‘Milla’ Sesay, George ‘Kweku’ Davies, Ibrahim ‘Teteh’ Bangura, Abdul ‘Abudu’ Sesay, Alie Sesay, John Bankole Kamara and goal keeper Solomon Zombo Morris. This is the largest foreign-based squad assembled by Leone Stars in recent times. Bangura is happy about the provisional squad in camp at the Hill Valley hotel. “I’m pleased with... read more

Sudan arrive in Freetown to take on Leone Stars

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown Sudan have arrived in Freetown to honour their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group I qualifier with Sierra Leone in Freetown on Saturday. The Sudanese delegation comprises of 20 players and nine officials landed at the Lungi international airport in the afternoon hours of Wednesday and were ferried to Freetown. Sierra Leone Football.com understands that the Sudanese delegation rejected the hotel initially reserved for them and they had to be relocated to another hotel. Their squad is dominated by local based players as they drew with Kenya 1-1 on Tuesday in a build-up game to face Leone Stars. Sudan are second in group I with four points after a win over Sierra Leone in the first round of the qualifiers last June and a draw with Ivory Coast. Leone Stars are third in the group with one point while African Champions Ivory Coast are leading the group with five points. To post a comment please Register or Login... read more

Europe based duo arrive in Freetown for Sudan match

John Kamara and Alie Sesay enroute to Freetown By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown England based defender Alie Sesay and midfielder John Bankole Kamara who plays in Latvia have arrived in Freetown ahead of Leone Stars’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Freetown on Saturday. They landed in Freetown on Tuesday morning from their respective locations via Casablanca. The duo were the last to be invited by Leone Stars  Coach Sellas Teteh for the crucial group I encounter. Several other foreign based players have been called up including Belarus based duo of Umaru Bangura and David Simbo, Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara who plays in Finland and Slovenia based Gibrilla Woobay. Sesay last played for Leone Stars against Ivory Coast in Abidjan in November 2014 in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers, while Kamara’s last game was against Chad in October last year in a 2018 World Cup qualifier. “I’m happy to be back in the squad,” Sesay who has won three caps with Leone Stars told Sierra Leone Football.com. He added: “I’m looking forward to play in Sierra Leone for the first time. It’s my first time in Sierra Leone after 12 years. “I know how important the game against Sudan is and hopefully we’ll come out with a win.” Kamara who has so far played nine times for Leone Stars is delighted too to be among the invited players, and hopes to help the team defeat Sudan. Leone Stars presently lie bottom of group I with just a point need to win to have a good chance of qualifying for the AFCON finals for the first time in... read more

Dulwich Hamlet sign Ibrahim Kargbo amid match-fixing claims

Ibrahim Kargbo says he has signed a one year contract with Dulwich Hamlet FC By Mohamed Fajah Barrie BBC Sport Former Sierra Leone captain Ibrahim Kargbo, currently banned from playing in the Netherlands over match-fixing allegations, has joined English non-league side Dulwich Hamlet FC as a free agent. The 34-year old, who previously played for Welling United, says he has signed a one year contract with the London club and is delighted with the move. “I’m happy to sign for Dulwich Hamlet and I know I can still play well,” Kargbo told BBC Sport. “I’ll do my best to help the club achieve its objectives next season. “I’m greatful to Hamlet FC as they have confidence in me at a time when I’ve been wrongly accused of fixing matches,” he added. Kargbo is banned in the Netherlands because Dutch football’s governing body, KNVB, alleges he was involved in trying to fix games in 2009 – claims he denied three months ago. He is among four players who remain suspended by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) for allegedly attempting to fix Sierra Leone’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against South Africa in Pretoria which ended in a goalless draw. The others are Ibrahim Koroma, Samuel Barlay and goalkeeper Christian Caulker. All four players claim they are innocent. The allegations are yet to be investigated by the SLFA. Kargbo, who retired from playing for Sierra Leone in October last year, started his career with local club Old Edwardians before moving to Europe to play in Belgium, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Portugal and now England.   To submit a comment please Register or Login  ... read more

Miami FC coach delighted to sign Michael Lahoud

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in London Head coach of Miami FC Alessandro Nesta says he’s delighted to sign Sierra Leonean international Michael Lahoud from Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union. The 29-year old midfielder joined Miami FC who are playing in the Northern American Soccer League (NASL), a second tier league for an undisclosed deal four days ago. “We are happy to have Michael here in Miami,” said coach Alessandro Nesta. “The club is looking to finish the season strong and I think Michael will help us do just that.” Lahoud was sent on loan to NASL club New York Cosmos in January and played each and every minute of the club’s first seven league games before he was recalled by Philadelphia Union. The former Chivas USA midfielder, who was born in Freetown also played for Carolina Dynamo.   To submit a comment please Register or Login... read more

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