“I don’t care if they respect me, I’ve got enough respect for myself, and I am a Sierra Leonean not a virus” Dumbuya posted. Photo: Dumbuya was in action for Sierra Leone last Saturday in Yaounde.
Ahead of their encounter with Cameroon later today Notts County defender Mustapha Dumbuya has responded to ‘Ebola’ chants from opposition fans during the ongoing African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Sierra Leone international right-back posted on his social media Facebook page that he is proud to be a Sierra Leonean and to be a Sierra Leonean is not a virus.
In Lubumbashi and Yaoundé rival fans chants at them of “Ebola.” It is now a humiliation for the Sierra Leone national team with some opponents even afraid to get closer to them.
Dumbuya who was first called up to the Sierra Leone squad for the 2013 African Nations Cup qualifying campaign against Sao Tome and Principe is now a stronger member in these 2015 qualifiers.
The 27-year-old since his debut against Tunisia he has been a regular figure playing in all three matches in Abidjan against Ivory, in Lubumbashi and Yaoundé last Saturday.
Even in Cameroon, they were asked to move to a newly built hotel where they remain the only occupants, on the advice of Cameroonian soccer and health officials Football Sierra Leone understands.
Several of Dumbuya national team mates have expressed their dismayed about the present Ebola epidemic that has brought them the biggest humiliation across the continents.
“You feel humiliated, like garbage, and you want to punch someone,” John Trye, a reserve goalkeeper, told New York Times after hearing “Ebola” shouted at the players during a training session Thursday.
“No one wants to have Ebola in their country. Sierra Leone is struggling. And they shove it in our face. That’s not fair.”
Newly Columbus Crew striker Kei Kamara told BBC about the devastation. Kei Kamara has likened the devastation caused by the Ebola outbreak in his country to “a sci-fi zombie movie”.
“I know seven of the nurses in the hospital where I was born have passed away from helping Ebola patients,” he said. “It’s a sad story and we just hope that more help will come.”
Michael Lahoud 28 the Sierra Leone midfielder says that his team-mates have been treated badly and feel humiliated because of the stigma of Ebola.
“It is really causing a lot of tension and friction,” Lahoud told BBC Sport.
Dynamo Minsk defender and Sierra Leone Skipper has also reiterated to Football Sierra Leone “The Ebola virus is the only thing that has affected us in this qualifiers, maybe we don’t deserved to be at the bottom of the group because we can’t play our home, obviously that would have help us.
Seychelles were the first nation to cancelled their qualifiers against Sierra Leone in fear of the deadly Ebola virus. CAF responded and forced Sierra Leone to move home if they are to participate in the qualifiers because of the Epidemic.
Estimated death toll of the Ebola virus outbreak has risen to 4,447, with the large majority of victims in West Africa; the World Health Organization (WHO) says.