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Match-fixing row rocks DR Congo/Sierra Leone clash

…as Sheriff Suma reveals Congo FA attempt

DECEMBER 1, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jr

Sierra Leone football has again been hit by match-fixing allegations as the national team left-back, Sheriff Suma, revealed an attempted match-fixing request from some “unrecognized officials” from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Football Federation.

Sierra Leone lost their final Group D clash against DR Congo 3-1 in Lubumbashi but the situation surrounding the team’s preparations and performance did not please the country’s Sports Minister, Paul Kamara, who called on the National Sports Council to conduct an investigation into the said match.

However, there were several allegations pointing to few players’ involvement in an attempt to fix the said match, which has prompted the reaction of Sweden-based defender Suma – who captained the team against Ivory Coast in Abidjan and DR Congo.

The Syrianska IF Kerburan full-back admitted he had a chat with a man named Aziz, who said he was sent by officials of the DR Congo Football Federation.

“I was in my room after dinner when one of my teammates called me saying there is a guy wanting to speak with the captain. I asked him who he is and what does he want, but my colleague’s reply was he has no knowledge of what the guy wanted to see me for but only knows the guy plays football in Portugal,” Suma explained and continued: “We played pool game together and after that he (Aziz) said he wanted a private talk with me. I enquired whether he was trying to get a club for me in Portugal, but he responded with a smile and said maybe. He then revealed to me that he was sent by his FA.”

According to Suma, Aziz requested for Sierra Leone to lose the match by 5-0 because there was no way the Leone Stars can qualify to the Nations Cup.

“He was asking that we allow Congo to defeat us by 5-0 because even a win will not qualify Sierra Leone. My words to him were simple and short: ‘We are here to play football and we are not here to lose any game. No matter what, we are going to play for our pride’. He shook my hand and said ‘captain I love your attitude and dignity’,” Suma explained.

The former Åtvidabergs FF and Ravan Baku player has dismissed the match-fixing allegation and also exonerated his teammates.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of the DR Congo Football Federation proved futile as all emails sent to their respective contacts – fecofa_sg@yahoo.fr and dircom@fecofa.cd – were never replied to, while their phone kept ringing without any respond.