Sierra Leone finished at the rock bottom of group D with just a single point from six matches- the country’s worst ever Nations Cup campaign in five years.
According to Kasho Holland-Cole, the acting Secretary General of the Western Area Football Association (WAFA), some suspected foul play did occur in the Sierra Leone Ivory Coast match which saw Leone Stars suffer a 5-1 defeat to the Ivorians.
“I can say this with authority that the Sierra Leone Vs Ivory Coast match was pure match-fixing, the run up to the match and the day for the match itself had all the evidence of match manipulation.
“Before the match the FA forced the Sports Ministry to take their hands off the association and thereby never traveled with any sports council or ministry official and secondly if you saw the match it was evident during the first half that we played well and the half ended 1-1 but after the halftime break things changed and we lost 5-1,” Holland-Cole said.
Also James Fofonah aka JJ who was the team coordinator during the preliminary round and the first two group matches said there are several reasons for SLFA to be investigated and called on both the Ministry and FA to setup an independent body for such action.
Fofonah said: “The FA must answer why they insisted on hosting our home matches on our opponents soil when the likes of Nigeria, Uganda and Morocco were earlier on willing for us to use their venues as our home ground.”
“How can you collect money from your opponent before the match on a pretext that you will refund it after the match?” Fofonah asked and he then called for some urgent action from the Sports council.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leonean took to several social media including Facebook expressing their disappointment, bashing both the FA and the Sports Ministry.
One Pa Lamah Bundu said this was the worst performance he had ever witnessed. “ If I was the Minister of Sports or the FA President or Coach/member of the technical team, I will publicly apologize to the people of this country and resign from my position. The simple reason is the fact that under my watch the country faced the worst humiliation in our football history “
Also a certain lady by the name of Isha W Johnson posted on Facebook that: “For me I think Madam Isha Johansen’s era is full of bad luck despite the Minister’s interference. Under her regime our U-17 team was banned while our female side secured the heaviest defeat 16-0 aggregate to Super Falcons of Nigeria. We secured the lowest points (1) under her regime and this clearly shows how the ‘fast month sweh` still de hunt madam Johansen. Remember "No matter how long a journey is, it will always lead you to your destination.”