July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: Sierra Leone coach reveals receiving death threats

By Allan Damba
Sierra Leone coach John Keister | Courtesy photo

Sierra Leone coach John Keister has made a strange revelation about how he received death threats before naming the final AFCON squad for the tournament which kickoffs in Cameroon on January 9.

The 51-year-old completed a remarkable feat by leading the 108th ranked nation to the prestigious tournament for the first time since 1996.

However, he has recently opened up about the threats received about the inclusion of certain players just before confirming his 28-man squad.  

“I think it is very, very sad that it has to come to this,” the English-born Keister told BBC Sport Africa.

“Whatever walk of life you are in, nobody deserves that,” he added with sad amazement.

“I do not think it should get to that point where my life is being threatened because people feel players should be in [the squad] – and if they are not, this is what they are going to do.”

“We have come a long way [so] there is no reason for [the death threats]. 

“I have got a family, I look after these boys, and I have a job to do. It gets me angry, and for me, where I have come from and my background, I feel there is something I need to do about it. 

“Regardless of the job, I need to do something about it.”

Sierra Leone is pooled in group E alongside Algeria, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea. They will start their journey against Algeria on January 11 at the Japoma Stadium, Douala.

They will then take on Ivory Coast at the same venue five days later before concluding their group stage fixture with Equatorial Guinea on January 20 at the Limbe Stadium.

Sierra Leone AFCON Squad: 

Goalkeepers: Mohamed N Kamara (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Ibrahim Sesay (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Isaac Caulker (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone).

Defenders: Yeami Dunia, Saidu Mansaray (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Osman Kakay (QPR, England) Kevin Wright (Unattached), Steven Caulker (Gaziantep, Turkey), David Sesay (Wealdstone, England), Umaru Bangura (Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland), Daniel Francis (Rot Weiss Ahlen, Germany).

Midfielders: Mohamed Kamara (Unattached), John Bankole Kamara (Kesla, Azerbaijan), Abu Dumbuya (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Saidu Bah Kamara, Prince Barrie (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Kwame Quee (Vikingur Reykjavic, Iceland), Saidu Fofana (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone), Issa Kallon (SC Cambuur, Netherlands), Idris Kanu (Peterborough United, England), Alhassan Koroma (Real Balompedica Linense, Spain).

Forwards: Musa Noah Kamara (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Augustine Williams (LA Galaxy, USA), Mustapha Bundu (AGF, Denmark), Alhaji Kamara (Randers, Denmark), Sullay Kaikai (Wycombe Wanderers, England), Mohamed Buya Turay (Henan Songshan, China), Kei Ansu Kamara (HIFK, Finland).

AFCON Groups

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde
Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi
Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon
Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau
Group E: Algeria, Sierra-Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire
Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia, Morocco

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