OCTOBER 13, 2014 By Shar Morris Jr
Sierra Leone and Cyprus-based striker, Mustapha ‘Haji’ Bangura has lashed out at the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and Sports Ministry over poor preparation and failure to coordinate players for international assignments.
The striker was expected to be part of the Leone Stars squad for the two legged 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon but poor ticket coordination has ruled the former Old Edwardians striker out of the matches.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Sports, the striker explained how he missed the team’s trip due to lack of proper coordination in getting his air-ticket from Cyprus to Cameroon.
“I spoke with the assistant coach John Sama and team manager Christian Dauda on Friday and I told them to book my ticket for Tuesday. On my return from our away match, I checked my mail for the ticket but to no avail,” Bangura explained.
“My colleagues called me to buy my ticket and upon my arrival I will be refunded, but I told them no because of my past experience. I later contacted the SLFA general secretary, Chris Kamara who promised to fix my ticket. I immediately travelled to the airport but to my surprise there was no ticket. Kamara then told me they only managed to get tickets for the coaches.”
The frustrated striker further vented his anger: “These people have no respect for us; they are not answering my calls and beside nobody wants to talk to me.” He further asked: “How can you fix tickets for coaches without doing same for a player?”
The SLFA general secretary, in his reaction, said he tried his best to inform the player about the problem and that the tickets for players were coordinated by the Ministry of Sports but that Bangura was angry and even went further to insult the minister.
“I tried my best to solve that and also tried to explain to ‘Haji’ but he was angry and started insulting the minister. I am very convinced that someone had told them that ‘Haji’ is uncontrollable and can’t go by their plans,” Kamara said.
However, Bangura denied Kamara’s claims, saying “he never did”.