AFCON qualifiers: Beleaguered Sierra Leone’s rival coaches set for showdown


• I’m still in charge, so shameful to see how fellow Sierra Leoneans misbehaving to themselves here in a Foreign Country
• What CAF will make of the Sierra Leone’s football Predicament?
• The Ministry appointed coaches Atto Mensah and John Sama since Monday have been in Yaoundé training the squad.

Sierra Leone Sports Ministry appointed Coach Atto Mensah maintains that he is the designated man to be at the dugout on Saturday when Sierra Leone host Cameroon.

Photo Credit: Fajah Barrie in Yaoundé L-R – SLFA’s Coaches Abdulai Kaloga Bah Assistant head Coach, Prince Tamba Moses-Goalkeeper Coach and John Ajina Sesay- Head Coach – Sports Ministry Atto Mensah

Its official – the Sierra Leone Football Association appointed coaches John Ajina Sesay and his assistant Abdulai Bah are in Cameroon to take charge of the National team as both rival coaches now set for showdown.

The FA is adamant that Mensah is not qualified to oversee the games on 11 and 15 October which was started clearly. “The SLFA would like to inform the general public that after correspondence between the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and CAF, Mr Atto Mensah’s UEFA B Diploma does not qualify him as a National Team Head coach”.

Talking to Football Sierra Leone Mensah said: “It’s so shameful to see how fellow sierra Leoneans misbehaving to themselves here in a foreign country.

“I’m here and am qualified and am in charge, this group of coaches only arrived last night I Just hopes Authorities don’t attack themselves viciously. And I hope to be in charge for the game.”

“I feel so low never felt like this before and I can’t even leave my room until this mess is sort out”. Atto’s assistant Sama

Dumbuya, who plays for English club Notts County, is also concerned about the uncertainty regarding the coach’s position.
“If we don’t know who is going to take over for Saturday’s game, how are we going to prepare as a team?” he said.

“Right now it is difficult. The players are trying to stay motivated. It is the wrong time for this to happen – I felt we were progressing under the previous coach Johnny Mckinstry.

“He took us to new heights – seventh in Africa and 50th in the world – and I think his results spoke for themselves. All he needed was backing.
“I feel that the government is holding us back. We are playing important games and we don’t need this situation right now.” Mustapha Dumbuya told BBC Sport

FIFA has already reiterated they would incessantly monitor the state of affairs: Dear Alie, “We were informed by the SLFA of alleged interference from the Ministry of Sports with regard to the management of the national team. Consequently, FIFA responded with a letter referring to article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes which oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

Cameroon will aim to capitalise on the present Sierra Leone sticky situation. Volker Finke’s side have started their qualifying campaign on a positive note, beating the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 away from home in their group opener before registering a resounding 4-1 home win over Ivory Coast to top the group with six points.

Sierra Leone on the other hand has enjoyed a contrasting run, losing both of their opening fixtures to stay at the bottom of the table with no points.


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