Match Bonus “Kuskas” let Guinea crash Sierra Leone U-20 Women’s FIFA World Cup Journey
SIERRA LEONE, Makeni: Age-long internal wrangling between officials of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and players took the center stage again few days after the National Women’s U-20 shocked their Guinea rivals in Senegal during their first leg encounter in their quest to secure one of the available two spots in the continent to compete in the 2022 Costa Rica FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup.
Football Enthusiasts at home and abroad, officials of the local football federation and members of the Sierra Leonean delegation that travelled with the team to Dakar for the female crunch tie widely celebrated the famous 0-1 win secured by the determined ladies from Sierra Leone, who did show no mercy during the match against their Guinean counterparts, as they bagged a 17th minute win courtesy of promising forward Fatmata Turay’s finish from a Matilda Kabba assist on 25th September, 2021.
The wild celebrations were then marred by issues on the amount to be paid to players as match bonuses and training allowances. More shocking revelation came out and some trending audios with devastating remarks from some officials of the delegation, threatening to put an end to the brightening football careers of the promising U-20 players, if they question their (officials) decision and to remain quiet about the meager amount being paid to the players as match bonuses and training allowances reimbursement, letting them fail to mobilize the players for the return leg match earlier than they did.
The disagreements in the Women’s U-20 camp emerged when the players noted that they were going to receive the sum of one million, four hundred Leones (Le1,400,000) equivalent $140 each. They protested in silence and the amount was increased to Five Million Leones (Le 5,000,000) equal $500 each that was paid into some of the players banks accounts.
While the officials remained tight-lipped to comment publicly on the alarming grievances in camp, some officials were busy intimidating and threatening the girls who then disclosed that SLFA did promise to reimburse their expenses incurred to prepare their travelling passports and transportation but after the 72 hours plus long cold war between the players, officials as well as member of the Sierra Leone Football Association, the ladies were finally called to camp in about two days to the match hosted in Liberia on October 9, 2021 with others players being dropped from the squad over accusations that they have recorded and shared the devastating remarks of the said officials while addressing the players in camp.
Few showed concern to the girls who entered into the match with a lot in mind and played with an extremely different starting line up from the first leg line up which many believed opened the door for the Guineans who made use of a weak Sierra Leonean defense and took the lead courtesy of Fatmata Camara who’s goal restored parity on aggregate to 1-1 after the host failed to reply their rivals but succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat.
It was then time for the winner to be decided after full time but the squad which entered into the match with “Kus-Kas” on match allowance and training bonuses were eventually eliminated from the race to Costa Rica in 2020 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup by post game penalty shootouts 4-2.
With the recent “Kus-Kus” on players training allowances and match bonuses being the first under the leadership of Thomas Daddy Brima who was unanimously voted into office on June 5 in Makeni, the time is seemingly ripe for the National Sports Authority (NSA) to engage the local football federation (SLFA) and the Ministry of Sports for a clearer road map on National Teams participations in tournaments as well as make known stipulated amounts for players to receive as training allowances and match bonuses for every appearance across the categories of the various National Teams in Sierra Leone. ARW/13/10/2021
By: [email protected]