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Lowcost “Nations cup” Egypt meet Zambia today

The battle continues this afternoon at the Lowcost playing field with the pharoahs of Egypt locking horns with Mighty Zambia in what is expected to be a big showdown.

In a brief interview, one of the commentators, Adikali A Turay, descrited the tournament as thrilling and exciting as lots of talents have been displayed since the commencement of the competition. “The standard of play in this tournament is really remarkable and the behaviour of teams and their officials is satisfactory,” he said.

Egypt are favourites to take the lead in the group particularly when most of the players of their opponents are out of the country for Club and National assignments.

Meanwhile Algeria entertain the Black Stars of Ghana in tomorrow’s encounter. Here are the results of the matches played so far. Senegal 5 Vs Zambia 2 Morocco 2 Vs Cameroun 1 Congo 0 Vs Ghana1 Egypt 3 Vs Nigeria 0 Algeria 2 Vs Togo 2

2002 World Cup draws . . . Can Leone Stars Survive?

The draws for the 2002 World Cup to be co-hosted by Japan and South Korea were held in Zurich, at the World football governing body headquarters last Friday with our darling Leone Stars placed in group B alongside Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan and Liberia.

Many sports commentators contacted by this press after the draws stated that with adequate preparations, our national team, Leone Stars, have the potential talents of winning the group and hence qualify for the finals. However, others hold the view that Leone Stars will not survive in a group that includes two continental heavyweights like Nigeria and Ghana, and that it will be a straight fight between the two rather than Leone stars.

The draws stipualted that the five groups of five each shall play in a league basis, with the eventual group winner going through to the finals. The first round matches begin in the weekend of 16,17 and18 June while the second leg encounter will be played in a fortnight. Here now are the full draws: Group A Group B Group C Group D Cameroun Nigeria Algeria Madagascar Angola S/Leone Senegal Congo DR Libya Sudan Namibia Congo Togo Liberia Morocco Cote d’Ivoire Zambia Ghana Egypt Tunisia Group E Guinea Zimbabwe Malawi B/Faso South Africa

Meanwhile, FIFA has reached a decision that the result of the second leg match between Kenya and Malawi played in Nairobi stands and Malawi qualify to the next stage, while the disciplinary action expected to taken against Liberia in last week’s incident at the Samuel K. Doe Sport Complex has been suspended because of what they described as the conflicting report on the issue. However the Liberia FA has been instructed to give a comprehensive report to FIFA on the event.

“I was sick for Tumbu”

Leone Stars last Saturday made Sierra leoneans proved and rekindledfootballhopesby grinding SaoTome 4-0,thereby eliminating the latter on a 4-2 aggregate.

Wonder boy, Mohamed Kalloncouldnotfindthe net. Somespectatorssay “it was a bad day for him.”

In a snap interview after the match,the Reggina striker,Kallon said, “I was sick for Junior Tumbu you know he is my goalmaker. He prepares the goalwhilst I do the finishing,so his absence, I felt. However, I had to adapt and instead of scoring the goals I played the role of Tumbu by creating the goals opportunity. The most important thing is the goals and the elimination of the opponent that we have achieved.

The professional players were well satisfied with the treatment metted on them by SLFA officials and the technical team. “All our air ticket fares were refunded to us immeidately on our arrival and allowances paid. We appreciate that, they said.

Ayoub throws the challenge

Nasser Ayoub has appealed to the entire community to give both financial and moral support to our localand nationalteamsin order to develop the game.

Speaking in an exclusive interview at his 35 Malamah Thomas Street last Sunday, Ayoub statedthey have thought it fit to come to the rescue of East End Lions and Leone Stars in terms of support after they have held series ofmeetings on how best they couldasdsist to develop football in the country.

Ayoub stated that they have spoken to the deputyMinister ofSportsAbass Collier about their intention to promote football and he has given them his support. he said with the limited resources at their disposalthey can not extend their support to every team in the country, but appeal to other business community to followsuit. He said they have contacted some of our foreign based players toexplain their venture and they appreciated it most. Heconcluded by congratulating, the sports Minister and Deputy,the players and the entire nation on the excellent performanceof Leone Stars last Saturday over Sao Tome.

Kallon Donates US$ 100

Italian based professional Mohamed Kallon last Sunday donated one hundred US dollars to Muhid Sesay as best lplayer of the opening match in the ongoing African “Cup of Nations” tournament organised by the Lowcost Site II Sports Association (LOSSA).

Making the donation,Kallon stated that it is his intention to ensure that young talent are encourage since as he put it “they are future hopefuls.”

Receiving the gesture,Muhid Sesay thanked Mohamed Kallon and promised to follow his footsteps. The match which attracted several sporting personalitieswas thrilling and entertaining. But it was Senegal that thrashed their Zambian opponents 5-2 at fulltime.

Cameroon meet Morocco yesterday but the results were not available as we go to press.


Sao Tome annoys the Lion

The two-nil defeat of Leone Stars last Saturday by less fancied Sao Tome in the World Cup preliminary did not go down well with most football-crazy fans.

Sierra Leone professional stars in Europe continue to bombard the SLFA Secretariat with telephone calls expressing their anger, and at the same time their willingness to fly home in the next few days to prepare for the final showdown in a fortnight.

Already, according to SLFA scribe, Alimu Bah, a total of 15 professionals have been contacted and “the association will immediately dispatch their return air tickets”.

Sports analysts have therefore tipped the match on April 22 as a football drama in Freetown.

“Our two-nil defeat in Sao Tome is like scratching the tail of a Lion. The Sao Tomeans have really annoyed us. We will show them what is football”, a football fanatic remarked.

Professionals expected to beef up the team include Mohamed Kanu and Musa Jharzino Kanu from Belgium to marshall the midfield.

The striking machine will be spearheaded by the country’s most outstanding and expensive player, Wonder Boy, Mohamed Kallon from Italy and he will be ably assisted by master dribbler, Lamin Junior Tumbu Conteh from UAE, heavy duty Gbanalokoh from Croatia, skillful goal poacher, Amidu Karim from Egypt and Chernor Mansaray from UAE.

The defence will be under the command of General Kewullay Conteh from Italy backed by thunderbolt Kemokai Kallon from Lebanon, Chris Bart - Williams from England, Mohamed Mansaray from Lebanon and Rashin Wurie.

“We don’t need any experiment this time round and no sentiments in the selection of players. This is a national and not an individual affair,” remarked the president of the Sport Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL), Chernor Ojuku Sesay.

Sierra Leonean Athletes Excel Abroad

The Sierra Leone Amateur Athletics Association, SLAAA, has in a release last week explained to the general public the performance of the country’s foreign based athletes.

It stated that on the 26th of March at the Stanford athletics meeting in California, one of the country’s uprising female athletes, Ekundayo Williams, competed in the 400m event and finished with a time 57.06 sec. She also competed in the 200m dash at the Johnny Mathew international meet on April1, finishing with a time of 24.58 sec. which is very close to Eunice Berber’s record of 24.32 sec. She also ran a time of 12.04 sec. in the 100 metres dash of the same meet.

Allieu “Bigger” Kamara who participated in the same competition clocked a time of 47.02 sec. in the 400 metres events with only one second off the qualifying standard for the olympic games in Sydney.

In the 200 metres dash, Kamara ran a time of 21.04 sec. which is within 05 sec. of the Olympic standard. Another Sierra Leonean male athlete, Alpha ‘Bullet’ Kamara ran a time of 51.04 sec. in the 400 and 22.06 sec. in the 200 metres respectively.

FCO wins Volley Ball tourney

Freetown Club of Oneness (FCO) have emerged champions over the weekend in the four day gala competition organised by the Sierra Leone Volley Ball Association sponsored by the Ministry of Youths, Education and Sports.

FCO beat Solar Spikers in the male category 3-1 to clinch the trophy, while Sofon thrashed Francee 3-1 in the female category to win the champions trophy.

Both military teams Nibatt-3 and Army bott lost to FCO and Solar spikers 3-2 and 3-2 in the semi finals respectively.

The veteran match between the Civilians and Army was a win by the former with the Deputy Ministry of Youths, Education and Sports, Abass Collier, emerging as the most outstanding player on the civilian side.

Trophies and certificates were distributed by Abass Collier at the end of the ceremony.

Decox Will Play on Sunday

Leone Stars and Ports Authority ace defender captain Abdulai ‘Decox’ Sesay who was recently red-carded in Sao Tome is eligible to play in Sunday’s WAFU Cup match between his club Ports Authority and Association Sportif Ntanan.

There has been much controversy among many sports commentators and football fans for the past few daysas to whether or not Decox should be fielded against the Malians . According to the rules, since WAFU is not a FIFA organised competition, a player that receives a marching order (red card) in a FIFA World Cup match shall not count in such event. The red-card will have been counted only if it was a FIFA or CAF organised competition.

Meanwhile, a twenty-five man contingent of both the Gambia U-17 national team, Young Scorpions and Mali’s AS Ntanan are due in Freetown today for this weekend CAF and WAFU Cup competitions.

This press would give a comprehensive analysis of both sides’ strength and past records in continental competitions in our Friday’s edition.

SWASAL Appeals for Support

The Executive body of the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL), has in a press release issued on Monday appealed to its members, Sports fans, business houses,good friends and all patriotic Sierra Leoneans to support the junior U-17 national team and one of the country’s WAFU representatives, Port Authority FC, as they engage their respective opponents this week in the continental and sub- regional competitions.

The release further states that the nation’s image and glory in terms of continental soccer is at stake, we must therefore not allow it to fade away. All hands must be put on deck. Let us all sacrifices and move to the national stadium to support the green,white and blue flag as Sierra Stars and Ports Authority are poised to fly it high.



In Sao Tome & Principe, Leone Stars on Saturday lost their World Cup African Zone first round, first leg qualifier game in front of a crowd of 7,000 Sao Tome & Principe citizens. The game ended with Sao Tome 2 Sierra Leone 0. One goal was scored during each half.

The news has been greeted with sadness back home. Sao Tome & Principe will play Leone Stars a return match at the Siaka Stevens Stadium on Saturday April 22nd 2000.

To restructure the team -- -

Lions coach fired

In a move to restructure the present technical staff of East End Lions football club, the executive body of the team last week resolved to sack the Assistant Head Coach , Hassan “German Cat” Koroma.

According to the Chairman of the club, Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesay, the former asistant coach was sacked for what he described as an act of indiscipline he demonstrated to the club.

Giving a background on the circumstances leading to “German cat’s” dismissal, chairman Alim Sesay stated that the former coach started to annoy the club members as far back as January this year, when he refused to attend the club’s training session for over a month after their annual leave vacation. He said “German Cat” was querried in accordance with the principles of the club to explain why he restorted to such a behaviour.

“In his reply, he only informed us of having too many family problems which he said the club has failed to assist him,” Awoko said.

“We at first resolved to slam a monthy suspension on him and when we realised that “German Cat” could still not learn his lesson we decided to fire him from the club,” he said.

“Added to this”, he went on, “ team that continue to incite players. We therefore considered him as a liability to the club and hence our decision.”

Asked whether they have got a replacement to coach Hassan, the chairman replied that Golf Leopards Football club head coach, Abu “Short” Sankoh, may likely join the team for this season.

He concluded that it is the intention of the club to replace some of the old players in the team who they think are no longer useful to them with young and serious-minded players.

Efforts to contact coach “German Cat” for his reaction on the issue proved futile.

Our Teams need sponsors

By Sorie Ibrahim Sesay

If the present cry of having no money from both our local clubs and national teams to honour international assignments vis-a - vis the lack of sponsorship is not immediately addressed, then it is very likely that the country will witness the largest number of withdrawals in its football history.

I believe it is the essence of improving the game that urged the Sierra Leone Football Associaiton to enter into both the sub-regional clubs competition (WAFU), the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup.

However expressing your willingness to participate in continental competition is only one aspect of the deal. The other and perhaps more important deal is the ability to honour the fixtures. This is the unfortunate situation in which our clubs and national teams now find themselves.

Very recently the cash-strapped SLFA presented a budget proposal of about one billion leones to the government to enable it honour all its international assignments. Our investigations revealed that up to this moment, the government is yet to honour that proposal.

Thus the trip to Sao Tome and Principe would not have been possible but for the timely intervention of the world football governing body, FIFA, who undertook the task of paying for the twenty-two man delegation. If the government could not intervene to save the situation, then no one will blame the SLFA for annoucing its withdrawls from these competitions.

I am firmly convinced that it is now two years since a properly organised league or international competition is organised or held in the country. This would have been a major source from which SLFA and our clubs could generate funds to finance their international assignments.

It is absolutely unfair to state that SLFA should continue to deep into their FIFA account to honour these trips when they have not even started the pilot projects that are to be financed by this same account.

I want the authorities concerned to realise the danger of withdrawing from these CAF and FIFA organised competition. The African Football Confederation has made it abundantly clear that a member federation will be suspended form participating in two subsequent tournaments organised by them (CAF) accompanied with a heavy fine should a member withdraw from its competitions after expressing its willingness to participate. Of course, FIFA has more harsh penalties for defaulters as its member states stand to forfeit all facilities provided to them by FIFA.

It is in light of the above circumstances that I want to urge the government to appeal to parastatals and other business organisations in the country to come to the rescue of our clubs and national teams through sponsorship to enable them participate in these competitions.

Perhaps Sierra Leone is one of the few countries in the continent in which clubs and national teams are not sponsored. Teams in Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, to name but a few, are all sponsored by private companies.

It is thus very unusual to hear of clubs or national teams withdrawing from tournaments for lack of funds.

So why should our authorities not emulate this fine example? It sounds completely ridiculous to hear that a parastatal like Ports Authority is dragging its feet to sponsor its football club to honour a regional trip to Bamako. I f that is the case, then what will befall Mighty Blackpool who are entirely financed by their executive?

Let me conclude by emphazing once more the need for government’s intervention if we are to escape the wrath of the African and World football governing bodies.

Against the Gambia---

U-17 move to camp today

The Team Manager and Coach of the national Under 17 team, Nahim Khadi, has intimated this press that his squad will move to camp today in preparation for this weekend’s clash against their Gambian counterparts in the 4th edition of the Junior African Cup of Nations organised by CAF.

Coach Khadi did not disclose his camping site to this press, but unconfirmed sources indicate that the team will be camped at the stadium hostel in Freetown or at Hastings in the outskirts of the city.

Meanwhile, coach Nahim Khadi has submitted his final list of twenty-two players to SLFA for onward registration to CAF in keeping with the association’s rules and regulations.

This press shall publish the full list of the players in the next edition.

Awoko refutes press report

The chairman of East End Lions FC, Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesa, has described an article in a local tabloid headlined : “Tawa, Milla, Pa Ernest to join Lions” as baseless and totally unfounded.

He said as far as he is concerned, he has no idea about such move by these players and that some of these players hold responsible positions in their respective clubs.

He commented on goalie Komba Tawa Yomba in particular, stating that at present his club has no goalkeeping problem particularly with the return of Bobson Sesay from Guinea to join the team.

“With Bobson and Skeikh Sheik, I see no reason why I should chase Tawa. After all they are all national team players,” Awoko reacted.

He also mentioned a player called Barbel of Royal stars who he said has never approached him to sign for his team.

“We don’t fight for non-division players. There are first and second division players who are good enough and willing to join our team. So why should we fight over non-division players?” he asked.

Coaches sack Prince Toe

The Sierra Leone National Coaches Committee has expelled the Assistant Head Coach of Mighty Blackpool, Prince Toe. A letter addressed to Coach Toe states among other things that he (Toe) wrote an “embrassing letter to Mr. Terry Casy, the FIFA instructor during the last FUTURO course, degrading not only the executive of the coaches, but also the football ruling body, SLFA.

The letter further states that the constitution of the committee clearly states that any member who is absent from five consecutive meetings will automatically lose his membership.

The letter concludes that the presence of coach Toe in the association will not only bring the game into dispute, but is also a bad example to young coaches.

“In the interest of the promotion and development of the game, your presence is no longer needed among the coaches,” the letter states.

Meanwhile, the Soccer Angels’ Head coach, Ebryhim-Bin Conteh, has been slammed an indefinite suspension for similar charges by the association.


2002 World Cup preliminaries
--- the battle begins this weekend

The preliminary rounds of the 2002 African zone World Cup eliminations get underway this weekend. As Sorie Ibrahim Sesay reports, the respective opponents of the continental heavyweights are well within their reach.

A total of twenty-four matches will be played over the weekend out of a record of fifty entrants in the African zone for the 2002 World Cup finals to be co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. The entrants have been divided into five groups of ten each and the world football governing body FIFA shall pronounce the date for the group fixtures scheduled to be held in July.

Meanwhile, the tie between the current African champions, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun and their Somalian counterparts has been fixed to a one-legged match to be played in Yaounde in a forthnight. The reason is due to the insecurity situation in the latter’s capital, Mogadishu.

In Group A, this year’s zone II host Cape Verde will entertain the Desert Warriors at home. The Algerians are expected to face no threat against the Islanders. Their North African neighbours, Tunisia, will travel to Nouakchott to meet their Mauritanian opponents.

The Lions of Senegal will face a difficult time in Cotonou as they play a determined Beninoise side at home. The Hawks of Togo will have to demonstrate their recent feat of defeating the African Champions Cameroun, in the African Cup of Nations against the Bissau Guineans in Bissau, on Sunday.

At the Independent stadium in Banjul, the Scorpions of the Gambia will face another continental soccer power- house, Morocco.The Gambians will be lucky if they secure a point in this match against the highly fancied Atlas Lions.

In group B, Lesotho host their South African neighbours the Bafana Bafana , whilst the Palancas Negras of Angola travel to Switzerland to face a difficult derby against the highly inspirational home side. Bostwana will entertain the Mighty Zambians at home and Gabon’s Azingo Nationale face a difficult away match against Madagascas. Mozambique travel to Khartoun to meet their Sudanese opponent today.

In group C derbies, all eyes will be on the Sao Tome and Principe match against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.This is an encounter in which the home side is expected to pose little on no threat against the highly motivated Sierra Leonean side. Latest reports monitored here in Freetown indicate that the Indian Ocean Islanders are determined to create an upset. Unconfirmed sources indicate that the home side has invited two of their Portugal based professionals for tomorrow’s showdown. Sao Tome, a virtually

unknown quantity in African soccer have so far played two matches since they became members of FIFA and CAF recently.Drawing one and winning one against their Central African neighbours Equatoria Guinea, at home, the Islanders will be of no match to our boys. However,the Leone Stars should not rest on their oars considering the intimidatory crowd of the home side.

In the other group C matches, the Red Devils of Congo will face an away leg match against the Equatoria Guinea, whilst one of the continental soccer new -comers Libya, will host their West African challengers, the Eagles of Mali, in Tripoli.

The Elephants of La Cote D’Ivoire will travel to Rwanda with an entirely home based squad due to the refusal of their foreign based players to honour the national call; following the last Cup of Nations saga in which the military authorities detained the entire team in an army camp in Abidjan. Whether the Rwandans could capitalise on this, will be an everybody’s guess. In Bangui, the home side CAR take on their Zimbabwean counterparts in what is expected to be a classical showdown.

In group D, focus will be on the match between Eriterea and this year’s Cup of Nations runner-up the Super Eagles of Nigeria, in Asmara. Whether the tiny and war-ravaged Eriterea will repeat their 1997 feat when they the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun to a 1-1 draw in Asmara will be another test case for the connoisseurs.However, the highly reinforced Super Eagles are favourite to win, though the home team have vowed to fight to end.

In the other group D matches, Nambia face an away leg match against Seychelles, whilst the 1998 African champions, the pharoahs of Egypt travel to Mauritius to face the home side on Sunday. Djibouti entertain a highly fancied DRC side at home.

In Group E, the match of the series is the one in Dar-es-salam is which the home side Tanzania face one of the continent’s heavy weights, the Black stars of Ghana. The Black Stars will have to rise from their mediocrity state to be business like, if they are to overcome their East African opponents who are determined to fight to the last.Guinea’s Syli Nationale will face another difficult outing in Kampala as they take on one of the continent’s uprising soccer nation, Uganda.In Adisabbaba,Ethopia will host their Burkinabe opponents on Sunday whilst Malawi entertain the Harambee stars of Kenya in Blantyr

The Lone Stars of Liberia also travel to Chad to face their Central African challengers.

The second leg matches will be palyed in forthnight time.

Lawn tennis Hindolo off to South Africa
By Legally Cole

Thirteen years old Hindolo Karim is off to South Africa to represent Sierra Leone in the African Junior Lawn Tennis tournament.

Hindolo was selected as best Africa - Junior Lawn tennis player in Accra,Ghana in December 1999 after winning gold and silver medals respectively. He was recently selected and funded by the International Lawn Tennis Federation in London with a first class ticket and accomodation to represent this nation in South Africa. The tournament is scheduled to take place between 7-22 April 2000.

Hindolo, at 13, had won gold in African Junior championship and now he has been selected as one of Africa’s best Juniors to represent Sierra Leone in South Africa open Junior Select.

Volley tourney kicks off

Zonal volleyball tournament organised by the Sierra Leone volleyball association and sponsored by the Ministry of Youths, Education and Sports get underway at the National Stadium volleyball court.

Meeting in the first clash on Wednesday April 5, F.C.O. humbled Army team 3-1 in a best of five set.

Whilst another military team Nibatt - 3 also lost to Solar Strikers 0-3 also in the best five sets. In his opening remarks, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Abass Collier who was a national players pleaded with the players to put up more efforts if they want to progress. He assured them of his total support and that he will be making plans for the national team to take part in any future international tournaments especially the zone II.

In yesterday’s matches, Army met Dragons in another group A match whilst Sixers entertained Nibatt-3 in another group B match. Results were not available at press time.

Today, F.C.O will clash with Dragons whilst Solar meet with Sixers in both group A and B matches respectively.

The finals will be played tomorrow between winners of each group.Whilst Sofon play France in the female’s final.

Inter-secondary school cricket
By Legally Cole.

The Ministry of Youths, Education and Sports in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Cricket Association will once again organise the inaugural Western Area Secondary School Cricket league championship, to be held at the Kingtom Oval.

The tournament will start from the 3 to14 April, 2000 and 10 schools will be competing for the inter-secondary school championship trophy- Sierra Leone Grammar School, Methodist Boys High School, Albert Academy, Prince of Wales, St. Edwards, Services Secondary School, Government Rokel Government Model, and Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School.

According to the National Cricket Coach, Mr Panda, this tournament is to develop and improve the sport at secondary school level because cricket has been dormant at that level for the past ten years. The fixtures are as follows:-
April 3
April 4
April 5

Round II April 6
Playing off finals April 10 WINNER V vs WINNER VI

Basketball on the rise
By Legally Cole.

Basketball is one of the fastest developing sports in Sierra Leone and it attracts youths and secondary school pupils.

One youthful star who has contributed to the development and improvement of basketball in Sierra Leone is Umaru Dukuray, the coach of the Kennedy basket ball team of Cline Town in East end of Freetown.

He started his basketball carrier with the SWISH club in 1985 and was later called to the national team in 1992,when he played against the Guinean national basketball team in Conakry.

Umaru Dukuray started his carreer as coach in 1996.

He underwent a coaching course organised by Reale Valdaran and in 1994, an Olympic course on basketball organised by the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone in solidarity with International Olympic Committee with course Coordiantor Del Sheafler. In 1996 he also participated in a coaching course organised by the Sierra Leone basketball Associaton (SLBBA) at the national stadium.

He is the founder of Kennedy basketball club and coach in 1996.

Under his training,the Kennedy club emerged champions in an inter-club tournament organised by the Young Sports men Club (YSC) in 1997 and also emerged third place in the National championship in 1997. Three of his players, Rahim, Tunji and Ibrahim, were called to the National team.

He has also expresed his desire to further his coaching career in order to develop and improve basketball in Sierra Leone.

He advised young players to be disciplined and hardworking.

For indiscipline U-17 suspend two players

Two players of the Under-17 national team, Sierra Stars, were on Monday slammed a week suspension by the coach and team manager, Nahim Khadi for indiscipline during training session.

The two players are Nabie Mansaray and Albert Foday, all of Mighty Blackpool Sports Club.

According to information reaching this press, the two players reported late in last Monday’s training session, in spite of several warnings given to them by coach Nahim Khadi on the consequnces of such practice.

In a telephone conversation with coach Khadi, he confirmed the suspension of the players, adding that it is his utmost priority to ensure discipline in the team.

“I have no room for indisciplined players. If you want to succeed in any venture, discipline should be your watch word” he said.

Many sports analysts contacted by this press, commended the bold step of Nahim Khadi, stating that “If our coaches could emulate this act, we believe, football will soon improve in the country in not too distant future”.

Meanwhile, the team continue to play some warm up matches this weekend with top first division teams in Freetown in preparation for their first leg encounter against the Young Scorpions of the Gambia on April 15 in Freetown.

Lions technical staff called to task

The executive of East End Lions football club has summoned an immediate meeting with members of the technical staff of the club to examine the circumstances behind the team’s recent dismal performance, this press can authoritatively state.

According to inside sources, the meeting was convened last evening at the chairman’s First Foreign Exchange Bureau office.

Though the outcome of the meeting is not known as we went to press, it is widely believed that the head coach, Jebor Sherington, would give a vivid account to the executive of the problems of the team and the players for an immediate action to be taken.

The sources dispelled rumours that plans are well afoot to dismiss the entire technical committee for failing to produce results. “We have no intention to sack our coaches. Our concern is to know the problems in the team and why the club has not been doing well in the latest matches so that so that we can take the necessary steps,” an executive member confided to this press yesterday.

It could be recalled that since their pre-matched elimination from the WAFA league competition by Golf Leopards, the team has suffered considerable defeats at the hands of their opponents, and more recently Mighty Blackpool who tamed them 3-0 two weeks ago at the national stadium.

Zone II Tourney postponed

The Organising Committee of the Amilcar Cabral has stated that this year’s tournament to be held in Praia, Cape Verde, has been officially postponed.

According to a two man Cape Verdian delegation that visited Freetown last week, the tournament has now been slated to commence on May 4 and end May 14. The two- man delegation includes the Chief Protocol Officer of the government, Manuel C. Matos and Mr. Constantine, a member of the Cape Verde Sports Council. They were here to sensitize the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) on the essence of participating in the zone II tournament.

The delegation explained that each country should send a 31- man contingent including two journalists. It was further disclosed to the SLFA that the participating teams are expected to travel between May 1 and 2 to enable the tournament kick off on the scheduled date of May 4.

For the first time in the history of the zone II tournament, the competition will be hosted in two venues: Praia and Mindelo. Group A matches which include host nation Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Senegal and the Gambia will be played in the capital, Praia, while group B matches which include defending champions Mali, Guinea, Mauritania and Guinea Bissau will be played in Mindelo.

The original date for the start of the competition was April 27. Investigations carried out by this press revealed that the reason behind the postponement was due to the U-17 Cup of Nations second leg qualifying rounds and the WAFU Cup second leg matches scheduled for the same weekend, since the Cape Verdian organisers wanted to get the cream of the stars participating in the tournament and at the same time to allow them make finishing touches on the venues.

However, the original fixtures still remain valid. Leone Stars will meet Senegal on May 4, while Cape Verde will entertain the Gambia in the opening ceremony of the group A matches.

Leone Stars, off to Sao Tome

A twenty-two man contingent of the National team, Leone Stars, will leave Freetown today via Conakry, Abidjan to Sao Tome and Principe for the first leg tie in this year’s African zone World Cup qualifying group scheduled for this weekend.

The delegation includes four officials and eighteen players. The trip was financed by the World Football governing body, FIFA. Here is the full list of players and officials:

1. Dr. Obi Frazer- leader of delegation
2. Saidu Mansaray - Acting Sec. Gen and T.M.
3. Abdulai G. Sesay - Head Coach
4. Christian Cole - Asst. Head Coach
5. Jonathan Taylor
6. Komba Yomba
7. Brima Memeh Kamara
8. Charlie Wright
9. Ibrahim Kamara
10. Ernest Kamara
11. Alpha Lansana
12. Mohamed Opong Kamara
13. Osman Tolo Sesay
14. Abdulai Decox Sesay
15. Serry Balay Turay
16. Kelfala Marah
17. Hassan Milla Sesay
18. Umaru Rahman
19. Buba Kamara
20. Sidique Mansaray
21. AbdulRahan Sesay
22. Ajami Jamiru.

Charity Ministry ends sports meet

The 2nd annual Inter-house Sports meeting of the Charity Ministry Education Centre ended last Friday at the Approved School grounds with OHDRAD house emerging champions.

This year’s sports meeting set the pace in the sporting millennium with Mr. Victor A. Kanu introducing a new sporting dimension known as Planting and Harvesting, which was won by CHARITY house.

OHDRAD house won the 4 x 100 metres and All-house relays, while the staff and administrative race was a win for Mr. Tamba D. Brima. The final positions were:

OHDRAD emerged champions with 236 points followed by Red House with 228 points. The third position went to CHARITY house with 226 points while F-1 came fourth.

The Programme Officer, Mr. Gibril Kargbo and the Head Teacher Mrs. Elsie Dumbuya distributed the trophies and certificates at the end of the meet.

Treat U-17 Fairly

It is no secret that for a nation to develop in terms of football, the authorities should ensure that effective programmes such as the recruiment and training of the young talents should be enhanced. The World Football governing body, FIFA, has stressed that its member federations should put more premium in promoting its junior and youth programmes by participating in all its continental competitions.

I must hasten to commend the present executive of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) for adhering to the dictates of FIFA which, for the first time in a decade, by entering for both U-17 and U-20 comeptitions concurrently.

Added to that, the cash-strapped association has also ensured the provision of certain facilities for the national players which, by all intents and purposes, is highly appreciated by all sports loving fans.

Few days ago, the Leone Stars team mamager, Mr. Paul Kamara in an interview with this press, disclosed that the SLFA has for the first time in its history, consented to pay the salaries of both the players and the coaches of the national team. This, I believe, is a bold initiative taken by the football association to improve the game.

However, my bone of contention here is that, little or nothing of such facilities accorded the senior national side are given to the junior U-17 team. My investigations revealed that the SLFA has spent close to six million leones in providing transport and other training facilities for the senior team.

I do not want to make comparison here, but at the same time, it is unfair to serve Leone Stars bread, sardines and drinks during training sessions while the U-17 boys are given only “pap” and cool aid. Don’t tell me of Leone Stars having a sponsor, as I believe that in the interest of fair play, those same facilities accorded Leone Stars should be extended to the U-17 team.

I would like the authorities to get it clear that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. And at the same time, we want them to realise that 98% of the present senior national team players are products of the junior U-17 side. It is therefore necessary to encourage them as our future hopefuls.

Most sports analysts have remarked that if enough encouragement is given to this present U-17 team, the country will definitely get its rightful place in the continental soccer map, as the team is embodied with lots of potentials that can take on any opponent in Africa.

The Coach and Team Manager of the U-17 side, Nahim Khadi, is making frantic efforts to encourage the boys by undertaking extra expenses for the team. But should that task be left to him alone? I am not insinuating that SLFA is not doing anything for the team. The point I want to establish here is that SLFA should extend some of these facilities given to the senior team to the U-17 in the interest of developing the game. A word for the wise is enough.

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