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Reading: Awarding-winning sports journalist reacts to Sierra Leone VS Ghana 1988 Afcon Qualifiers.
Reading: Awarding-winning sports journalist reacts to Sierra Leone VS Ghana 1988 Afcon Qualifiers.

Awarding-winning sports journalist reacts to Sierra Leone VS Ghana 1988 Afcon Qualifiers.

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admin Festus Conteh Festus131
By admin Festus Conteh Festus131 243 Views 5 Min Read
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Awarding-winning sports journalist reacts to Sierra Leone VS Ghana 1988 Afcon Qualifiers.
Awarding-winning sports journalist reacts to Sierra Leone VS Ghana 1988 Afcon Qualifiers.

A renowned Ghanaian journalist Saddick Adams has taken to his Twitter account to narrate a distressing story for Ghanaian football-loving fans during the 80s.

Ghanaian government had stretched its brotherly hand to help Sierra Leone National Team travel to Ghana during their economic downturn. Sierra Leone National Team paid them this.

BITTER SWEET AFCON STORY
SIERRA LEONE vs GHANA 1987

It’s March 1987 & Ghana 🇬🇭 paired vs Sierra Leone 🇸🇱 in the Qualifiers for Afcon 1988. Sierra Leone were to fly to Accra but country was in serious economic crisis.

 

President Saidu Momoh advised Sierra Leone FA to forfeit the match due to lack of funds.

The Black Stars of Ghana had already grouped in Accra including professional players.

Sierra Leone were counting to philanthropists to donate towards the team’s trip. Four days to the game, they had not received enough to fund the trip. Serious doubt was cast over the match.

The Black Stars under German Coach Rudi Gutendorf continued to train at the Accra Stadium nonetheless.

3 days to the D-day, Ghana’s legendary sports administrator Ohene Djan passed on. The country’s sporting fraternity was thrown into a state of mourning.

Ghana’s then Military leader, Chairman Rawlings announced that the match vs Sierra Leone will be used to honour the late Ohene Djan. Rawlings wasn’t aware of the Sierra FA situation.

Then Chairman was briefed that Salone were struggling to raise funds to travel.

How??

Rawlings got in touch and said he’d help Seirra Leone. Remember in 1982, Gaddafi’s Libya funded Ghana’s trip to the Afcon cos Ghana was in similar economic crisis.

In fact the aircraft that lifted Ghana’s team and journalists to Libya for the Afcon was a Libyan Military Aircraft
This time, Chairman Rawlings sent a Ghana Military jet to pick Seirra Leone. It left on the morning of Saturday and returned with 18 Seirra players and 5 officials.

Ghana also offered accommodation at the then Republic Hotel and free meals to the Seirra Leone team.

The game was to be played the next day but Seirra Leone wanted another request. They pleaded for the game to be postponed to Monday instead of Sunday so they have one day to train

Ghana granted this request too.

All that so Ghana can win to honour Djan and qualify for Morocco

Monday 30th March 1987. Ghana line up vs Sierra Leone. Everyone expecting a massacre. Ghana wore red stripes, very weird choice of kits.

Gambia ref Samuel Coker blew whistle to start Salone called GK Mohammed Odoom to action. 2 corner kicks in 4 munites.

Accra stadium is full

By 6th minute, Seirra Leone had scored through captain John Dumbuya. Ghana pressed and pressed but no goal. In fact in the 38th minute, Sierra winger Siaka Camara volley hit the upright.

First half ends and Ghana are a goal down. Leone Stars in control of the game.

Hope still hight that Ghana will equalize and turn fire on these guys we’ve fed, literally.

Second half stars. By 55th minute, Sierra Leone score again via a swift counter attack.

Accra stadium is quiet.

In the 80th minute, Abdul Razak got a consolation but was too late.

90+4. Game ends and Ghana has lost on a day they expected a massacre.

Fans shell-shocked. Angry ones started cursing authorities for using tax payers money to fund Sierra Leone.

Ghana would have been handed 3 points 3 goals if Sierra had abandoned the game but 🤔🤔

In the return leg, Sierra Lone held Ghana to a goalless draw in Freetown.

Ghana failed to qualify for 1988 Afcon in Morocco.

African brotherhood meant we helped Seirra Lone to beat us.

Same as Libya helped us to beat them to Afcon 1982 trophy

Afcon is more than a tournament

© Saddick Adams via Twitter

 

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