January 12, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leonean-born world football governing body, FIFA licensed agent, Mustapha Turay, has highlighted several reasons for the lack of movement of Sierra Leonean players in the international transfer scene.
Concerns have been raised by several local football loving fans of not seeing Sierra Leonean players making big moves across Europe or signing for clubs in the European topflight leagues unlike players from other African nations.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Sports, ‘Mus’ – as he is fondly called – said amongst other reasons that the lack of exposure and poor national league are some of the factors responsible.
“We can make a whole newsletter if we want to look at the problems of why our Sierra Leonean players are not making the headlines in the transfer market like the Nigerians, Ghanaians and others,” he said.
“Moreover, one of the biggest problems is the poor FIFA ranking – our players cannot play in the Premier League if we are down there. The likes of Kei Kamara and Medo Kamara had the chance to play in England during the time when our ranking was amongst the top 50 nations.”
Other problems he highlighted are the national team’s continuous failure in qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations, the poor or no efficient national football league, and the lack of a football academy in the country – which could be used to train players well from tender age.
The UK-based agent further stated: “As an agent we cannot market players easily if they are not playing in the continent’s big matches like the Nations Cup, CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup. Also, there is only the Bellamy Academy and Mohamed Kallon, who is doing a great job in training young boys with fundamental footballing skills and training.”
Turay is agent for Sierra Leonean players such as Mustapha ‘Haji’ Bangura, Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara and Alie Sesay, among others. He has been an agent for over five years and has marketed several players in Championship, Premier League and League One clubs in England.