Left-back, Alex Bangura and winger, Issa Kallon will both reportedly miss Leone Stars crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe later this month.

Football Sierra Leone reports the two key players will not be available for selection as Sierra Leone prepares for the Sao Tome doubleheader.

Kallon, 27, who joined Chinese Super League club Shanghai Port in July last year, confirmed his unavailability for selection to Football Sierra Leone.

I am just returning from Injury. I want to get back to full fitness. I will not be part of the team as I am staying in China,” Kallon disclosed.

We have a new coach who wants to see and know his players better during pre-season.”

When asked about future Sierra Leone call up, he said, “I do not know. We will see at the time my situation.”

Alex Bangura, 23, captain of Dutch side, Cambuur was unavailable for comment, but source close to Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) confirmed Bangura’s omission from the squad, citing personal reasons.

Coach John Keister’s side will return to continental action in the race to reach the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.

Third, in Group A, Sierra Leone is to host São Tomé and Príncipe on March 22nd 2023, at the 45,000-capacity Grand Stade Adrar Agadir in Morocco before the second leg on 26.

Sierra Leone staged a second-half comeback to share spoils with Guinea- Bissau in their matchday two Group A Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in the Guinean capital in June 2022.

Both West African nations played to a 2-2 draw, and as a result, Sierra Leone placed third in the group with a point after their two opening games.

To regain qualification hopes, Sierra Leone must win both matches or at least secure four points against their Central African opposition as they bid to reach Ivory Coast next year.