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HomeSportsAfter Failing To Qualify For Afcon 2023 Citizens Question Sanity Of Playing Friendly Matches Now

After Failing To Qualify For Afcon 2023 Citizens Question Sanity Of Playing Friendly Matches Now

After Failing To Qualify For Afcon 2023 Citizens Question Sanity Of Playing Friendly Matches Now

Mathematically, the dreams of millions of Sierra Leoneans to sing, dance and collectively celebrate victory, if only we would have qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, are not almost but over. In the ongoing qualifying series, Sierra Leone is in group C with Algeria, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome. The first two matches with Algeria and Guinea qualified our exit, despite the outcome with our only rival, Guinea Bissau.

Algeria is first in the group after trashing Sao Tome 10-0 and Sierra Leone’s Leone Stars 2-1. With eleven goals in favor, Algeria automatically qualify for the 2nd round with six points. Guinea Bissau equally defeated Sao-Tome with a 5-0 lead, followed by a 2 all draw with Leone Stars. Guinea is 2nd in the group with 7 goals in favor and 2 goals against. Leone Stars has to its credit 2 goals with 1 point and Sao-Tome is bottom in the group with 0 goals 0 points.

While we await our final match with Sao-Tome, we are out of the 2023 Afcon competition. So why do we need to go on friendly, when our aim to take part in Afcon 2023 is already shattered? Many people feel that it is not necessary at this moment, especially with the cost involve. What revenge are we really seeking for? We have lost the World Cup 2023 qualifying and the Afcon 2023, and yet we keep on lavishing money just to play matches that will be of bo effect to the team and the nation.

No one will dispute the fact that friendlies are important, but the argument is that friendlies are all about testing the fitness of the team for the competition ahead. But with our present football rating, it would have been better if we think of friendlies after the 2023 Afcon tournament to start a new page.  Many people say, Leone Stars combine would have played friendlies with our local 1st division clubs.

Although the world football governing body distances football from politics, in Sierra Leone, the chapter is different. The aspiration of our football youths is raised whenever elections are around the corner, as aspiring MPs lavish money in community football gala. In Sierra Leone, it is evident that whether victory or loss, both aspiring and the incumbent governments have viewed football as a propaganda machinery to gain popularity, especially as football is the uniting force of Sierra Leoneans.

The proverb that ‘before you chase the snake in the bush, try to chase the dog that barks on your door step’, means that before you think of selecting your players for international football tournaments, learn to start football from Chiefdom, District, Regional to National level, to determine their fitness. The Irony is, you will recall that our qualification in the Afcon 2022 was attached to the interest of the Bio Administration in football, of course, for his moral and financial support to boost our victory. The signal our defeat indicates is that no nation, irrespective of its population density, topographical size, socio-economic status, political status has monopoly in football always new wonders from elsewhere and from someone from the blue.

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