Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ebola-hit Sierra Leone face uphill struggle in qualification bid

06 September 2014, 08:51

Abidjan - Ebola-affected Sierra Leone face an uphill struggle to reach the African Nations Cup finals for the first time since 1996 with just 14 players training ahead of their opening qualifying match against the Ivory Coast on Saturday.

Their task against the African giants was a daunting one before factoring in their threadbare squad and even eternally optimistic coach Johnny McKinstry stressed the situation was far from ideal.

"A few of our players ultimately only arrived in the last couple days, and some today again for the game on Saturday. So those have been challenges," 29-year-old Northern Irishman McKinstry said on Friday.

Also Read: Vilakazi goals help South Africa crush Sudan

After initially refusing to host the match, the Ivorian government reversed its decision amid assurances from Sierra Leone's Football Association that none of its European and American-based players and staff had visited the country in the previous 21 days, the incubation period of the virus.

However, several Sierra Leonean-based staff members were prevented from travelling to the Ivory Coast, which has banned air travellers and all incoming flights from Sierra Leone.

Of the affected countries, Sierra Leone has been the hardest-hit, with 1,107 confirmed cases - including 430 deaths as of Thursday - according to the World Health Organisation.

Also Read: Uruguay overpower Japan

The outbreak also means Sierra Leone will be forced to play all their matches at neutral venues with Wednesday's 'home' qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo to be held in the Congolese city of Lubumbashi.

McKinstry insisted his players would use the situation as motivation.

"We want to make sure that there is a positive image of Sierra Leone displayed," he said.

"And there wouldn't be a bit more positive image displayed than the Leone Stars being in Morocco in 2015 to bring the world's attention on Sierra Leone for the right reasons."

- Reuters


Musa scores first goal for Leicester

22 October 2016, 20:18

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...