“Sierra Leone Players Are Scared of Taking Penalties” – Leone Stars Captain, Umaru Bangura Confirms

Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura  has said supporters will torture and vandalise Players properties if they miss a penalty for the Leone Stars.

Forward Kei Kamara’s house was recently targeted after he missed a penalty for Sierra Leone against Equatorial Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. His side lost the match 1-0 in Limbe when a draw would have seen them reach the knockout stages.

The  captain Bangura who missed a crucial penalty in 2019 against Liberia said supporters will “torture you and vandalise your properties” if you miss a penalty for the Leone Stars

“Most of the boys have told me they’re now scared of taking penalties because of what has happened to two senior players in the team, myself and Kei Kamara,” Bangura told BBC Sport Africa.

“I backed off from taking penalties for Leone Stars because it’s a matter of life and death for Sierra Leoneans,” said the 36-year-old who handed over penalty duties to Kamara after his miss. he stated

Bangura saw his house targeted after missing a decisive stoppage-time spot-kick in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in September 2019. It meant Sierra Leone failed to get through to the next stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

 

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Bangura considered retiring from international football after his spot-kick miss but was later persuaded to continue playing after the Sierra Leone FA provided funds to help carry out repairs on his house which was vandalised.

“When I missed a penalty against Liberia people insulted me, vandalised my house. I went through psychological torture for a year.

“I healed when we qualified for the Nations Cup for the first time in 25 years after defeating Benin in Conakry.

“I felt relieved when I skippered the team to qualification. I knew I had given my country something I lost before.”

“So I understand what Kamara is going through and his situation is the worst because he might not have anything again to give back to Sierra Leone and for Sierra Leoneans to forget about what has happened.”

“Nobody is 100 percent sure of scoring a penalty, so why would you step forward to take a penalty when you know that if you miss you are going to get hurt by your people?

“It’s normal for a player to miss a penalty, [Riyad] Mahrez, [Lionel] Messi and other big stars have missed penalties. [Franck] Kessie, who always scores a penalty for his club, missed against us when we played against Ivory Coast.”

In recent times, Security officers of the Sierra Leone Police  protected the house of Kei Kamara who missed Leone Stars’ Penalty in their last AFCON match against Equatorial Guinea today.

It was reported that furious fans visited Kei Kamara’s house after the final whistle.

In what turned out to be a game of few opportunities, Leone Stars showed strong resistance after a lengthy fight against Equatorial Guinea.

It was a discipline performance by Equatorial Guinea as they saw off a Sierra Leone team in need of a Win by a score of 1-0 in the first half. They were able to get a second successive win in the Competition.

Leone Star were eliminated from the AFCON Competition. A draw with Equatorial Guinea would have sail them through to the round of 16.

However many Sierra Leoneans have pointed out that the team have fighting mentality but not a winning attitude

Many also think that this was a fair appearance after 26 years of a absence in the competition.

Some sport analyst believe Leone Stars should build on this team for the future

MORE ABOUT: Leone Stars | Umaru Bangura

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