June 9, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr
Sierra Leonean female sports journalist, Francess Bernard, who was said to have been assaulted and publicly insulted by Sierra Leone international midfielder Alfred Zagalo Sankoh, has accepted the midfielder’s apology.
Sankoh was said to have attacked the female sports journalist, who is attached to the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), after he was told by his uncle that whilst he was away in Turkey the sports journalist had accused him on national television of persistently feigning injuries whenever called to play for the national team.
The young midfielder’s action was not only branded as “disrespectful and simply inappropriate” but was also condemned by the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL), Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) and the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU).
However, the former Strømsgodset midfielder, in his public apology on Wednesday said he regretted his action and pleaded for forgiveness.
“As a national athlete that is supposed to be a model for young people, I regret my actions and hereby call on the media and the women’s group to which the young lady belongs to forgive me.
“I further wish to apologise to young people in this country and to assure them that this incident will be used as a yardstick for my behaviour and conduct both in and out of the pitch in future. I would wish that as I continue to reflect on this issue, my privacy would be respected by all on this matter,” he said.
Reacting to Sankoh’s apology, Ms Bernard said: “It was just unexpected and thank God the issue is all over, I accepted his apology and this will not deter me from doing my job.”