Siaka Stevens Stadium, Freetown, Aerial View
The recent developments in Sierra Leone football the last seventy two (72) hours from both the positive and negative side of it gives Sierra Leoneans sceptical mindsets as what the future holds for it.
During the start of the week, the general secretary of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Christopher Kamara, was in the Eastern town of Kenema to reveal the long awaited fixing of the Kenema artificial turf after almost three years. This news may have come with no surprise to Sierra Leoneans as Kenema City is amongst the three districts to host the senior female WAFU tournament in December, and by international standard, the field must have a turf either natural or artificial.
The above development has left smiles on the faces of members of the Kenema District Football Association (KDFA) despite most football stakeholders deemed the development as no new phenomenon with their consideration of the KDFA as one of the football FA president Isha Johansen’s ally.
Simultaneously as incidences unfolds, Musa N. Kamara (Tombo) who during August this year made the news for the wrong reasons, became the country’s most expensive local football star. He is believed to have been bought by East End Lions FC for more than one hundred million Leones ($11000) with a contract running for three years.
However, there are still controversies surrounding his transfer which is hoped to be sorted out by both parties before the weeks’ end.
The most welcoming one on the side of the fans is the country’s recalled to the West African Football Union (WAFU) Nations cup under a week before its commencement in Thiès, Senegal
After its recent disappointment due to missing out from qualification to the group stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifier, the Sierra Leone national male team, Leone Stars, have been recalled to partake in the 2019 edition of the West African Football Union (WAFU) football competition to be hosted in Thiès Senegal’s third largest city from Saturday 28th September to Sunday 13th October, 2019.
The Leone Stars, who were initially left out due to the suspension the country was serving from football’s world governing body, FIFA, would have a revival against a side which eliminated them a fortnight ago in the FIFA world cup preliminaries. The two teams (home-based) sides would have to settle their score this time on a neutral ground on Sunday, 29th September.
The technical team lead by head coach Sellas Tetteh Teive has named a contingent of 21 home based players that are expected to depart Sierra Leone for Senegal in the next 24 hours.
PLAYERS FOR THE WAFU TOURNAMENT IN SENEGAL
1 Mohamed N. Kamara Goalkeeper East End Lions
2 Issac Caulker, Goalkeeper FC Kallon
3 Unisa Conteh, Goalkeeper,FC Johansen
4 Ibrahim Mansaray, Defender ,FC Kallon
5 Mohamed Mansaray, Defender, Mighty Blackpool
6 Abu Bakarr Samura, Defender, FC kallon
7 Yeami Dunia, Right Back, East End Lions
8 Henry Jah Right Back Mighty Blackpool
9 Alpha Conteh, Left Back, Bo Rangers
10 Abu Dumbuya, Central Midfiel,d East End Lions
11 Alfred Nurman ,Central Midfield, Central Parade
12 Kenewa Steven ,Central Midfield, FC Kallon
13 Mamoud Fofanah, Attacking Midfield, FC Kallon
14 Saidu Fofanah, Attacking Midfield, FC Kallon
15 Edmond Michael, Attacking Midfield, Old Edwardians
16 Morie Alie ,Left Back ,-Bo Rangers
17 Emmanuel Sumadiya, Left Wing, FC Kallon
18 Nani Jah ,Left Wing, East End Lions
19 Musa N. Kamara, Striker, East End Lions
20 Baimba Sesay Striker East End Tigers
21 Suffian Kalokoh ,Striker, Bo Rangers
The WAFU cup of Nations is one amongst the many host of events the country’s FA is expected to undertake within the next three months, with the WAFU female zonal Nations cup expected to be hosted in Sierra Leone in December, the national U-20 (Shooting Stars) will also have to travel to Conakry for the WAFU quarterly zonal youth tourney.
The FA according to its general secretary, Christopher Kamara, is also expecting to go for the first of three congresses starting with an extraordinary Congress in probably mid October.
Despite all these developments, the country’s football is still in chaos and many sports pundits and fans feared the start of the country’s elite which was slated to start in October. The league which preceded it was highly hailed as successful with continuity the watchword spoke by every Sierra Leonean who always want to see the game play.
Few months back, the executive committee of the Football Association (FA) as said according their mandate from the statutes of its constitution proposed an addition of two teams to the initial fourteen (14) who used to play the premier League. These teams according to Exco will solely come from the northern region as a bid to create regional balance. A decision that was met with mixed feelings from the other regional football associations.
The teams within the north during mid September started the preliminary of playoffs and was on it final stage when the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) with Moyamba district FA specifically filling an injunction to the playoffs questioning its authenticity and statutory locus to go on. The chairman of Moyamba district football association, Sam Mboma argued that, though the Exco may have the right to propose for changes in the FA’s Constitution, but it is congress which entails the mandate to approve. Cross section of the membership argue on the need an inclusive national playoffs which must be of all regions while they denounce the sole northern region playoffs proposed by the Exco.
An interim injunction was granted by magistrate Kamanda in one of Sierra Leone’s magistrate court in Freetown putting on hold the playoffs which would have started on Wednesday, 25th September in Port Loko and Bombali districts respectively. Friday, 27th September is the day for the next hearing as the applicants and defendants are expected to bring in interpretations of statutes which gives the Exco the mandate to add teams solely without congress’s approval and those from the applicants which thought otherwise.