Security issues force Sierra Leone World Cup qualifier behind closed doors

October 10 – Sierra Leone have been ordered to play their next official match behind closed doors following “a number of incidents” linked to the recent World Cup qualifier against Liberia.

FIFA said it found Sierra Leone’s Football Association guilty of breaching its security code after incidents including “the invasion of the field of play, the throwing of objects and a lack of order or discipline observed in and around the stadium.”

Sierra Leone’s FA has also been fined $50,000 following the preliminary round return leg in Freetown on September 8.

The ruling means the game with Lesotho for their opening match in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will be played in an empty stadium.

The Liberia FA complained to Fifa that their players had been pelted with objects which they claimed had forced them to call off a training session before the match.

Two other African countries – The Gambia and Sudan – have also been sanctioned by Fifa. Both were also found guilty of security lapses when they hosted Angola and Chad respectively in the same World cup preliminary round qualifiers last month.

Earlier this month  Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura said he was  considering his international future after angry supporters vandalised his house in retaliation for him missing a decisive stoppage-time penalty in the afore-mentioned  Liberia qualifier.

Liberia won the tie 3-2 on aggregate but Bangura scored, Sierra Leone would have levelled the tie and gone through to the next stage on away goals. After the game fans pelted Bangura’s home with stones and he said at the time it was “one of the worst days of my life.”

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