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Sierra Leone hires Sweden’s Mattsson as coach

Sierra Leone hires Sweden’s Mattsson as coach

Sierra Leone’s new Sports Minister says Swedish coach Lars Olof Mattsson has been hired to manage the Leone Stars on a temporary basis.

The 56-year-old Mattsson is a former coach of the Swedish national Under-21 team.

Sports Minister Paul Kamara said Mattsson will only be in charge for Leone Stars’ next match against Niger.

“Mattsson will only be here for our next 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers,” Kamara told BBC Sport.

“But after the game we’ll try to enter into an agreement with someone to take over the Leone Stars on a permanent basis,” he continued.

Minister Kamara said hiring Mattsson on a short-term basis is a wise move.

“We decided to go for a Swedish coach because most of our foreign-based footballers are in Scandinavia and it’ll be easier for him to reach them at their clubs,” he stated.

“That way he’ll see their performances even before he comes down to Freetown to take up his job,” Kamara continued.

Coach Mattsson will work with local coach Christian Cole who was in charge of the Leone Stars for their last two matches in the Nations Cup qualifiers.

The Leone Stars pulled off impressive draws against reigning champions Egypt in Cairo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Freetown.

The team is currently third in group G with two points from two matches, behind South Africa and Niger, but ahead of the Pharaohs.

Coach Cole for his part has told BBC Sport that he welcomes the Swedish coach with open hands and is ready to work with him to get a good result against Niger.

The assignment is Mattsson’s first in Africa.

By Mohammed Fajah Barrie , BBC Sport, Freetown

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