Sierra Leone’s Mohamed Bangura (left) in action against Ivory Coast
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie, BBC Sport, Freetown
Sierra Leone has been asked by Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura to bid for the right to host the 2018 Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
Samoura made the request in a meeting with Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, sports ministry officials and executive committee members of the country’s football association during a two-day working visit that ended on Saturday.
The visit was aimed at restoring peace within the Sierra Leone football family and to ensure that there is no political interference in the day-to-day running of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).
“I bring good news about the possibility for Sierra Leone to host the next Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup,” said Samoura.
“I have promised President Koroma that Fifa will support Sierra Leone if they bid. We’ll make sure that they have all the tools and mechanism and the means you need to get that competition being hosted by the country.
“I’ve got assurance from the minister of sports that he supports this idea and I’m sure we we’ll be linking up with the SLFA President Isha Johansen to make it a reality.
“When I come to Sierra Leone next time I hope it is to declare to the rest of the world that Sierra Leone has been successful in bidding to host the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup.”
Sierra Leone has never hosted a major football tournament. Should any bid be successful it would be a major boost for the country, which suffered from the ebola epidemic between 2014 and 2016.
However, the country lacks most of the facilities required to host a major Fifa or Confederation of African Football tournament and would need to upgrade existing stadiums and possibly construct new venues to make a successful bid to host the 16-team event.
A Fifa Women’s world Cup – across any age group – has never been hosted in an African country.