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Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 17:21 UK

Kanu slams SLFA over preparations

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie
BBC Sport, Freetown

Ahmed Kanu
Kanu says his team has been neglected by the SLFA
Sierra Leone coach Ahmed Kanu says that his squad has not been given any financial support by the country's FA or government.

His comments come ahead of the 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifier against Equatorial Guinea in Freetown on Saturday.

A government official told BBC Sport that they are reluctant to finance the team because the committee in charge of the team's last four matches has failed to account for money that it was given.

"It's in complete contrast to our last four matches, where we had all the support we needed both financially and morally," said Kanu.

"Since my boys started preparing for the match in mid-August, not a single bottle of water has been bought for the players, not to talk about paying their allowances.

"With less than a week to go to the game, my [foreign-based] boys are not in camp and I don't know when the cash will be available for them to go to camp.

The Leone Stars are currently third in their group behind Nigeria and South Africa, and a win against Equatorial Guinea will keep them in with a chance of reaching the next stage of the qualifiers.

My boys don't deserve to be punished

Ahmed Kanu
But Kanu fears that he will be without a full-strength squad.

"I'm worried that flight tickets might not be available for the thirteen foreign-based players that have consented to play," he said.

"The government shouldn't use the committee's failure to account as an excuse to not finance the team.

"My boys don't deserve to be punished."

"It's the responsibility of the Sierra Leone government and the SLFA to finance the Leone Stars, but they're not doing that now."

The SLFA responded to Kanu's allegations by saying that financial support must come from government.

"The government should continue to support the Leone Stars," SLFA administrative secretary Abu Bakarr Kabba told BBC Sport.

"We're making last-minute efforts as we've approached the sports ministry and we're working together now to buy flight tickets for our foreign based players, to send the team to camp and to pay allowances."

The thirteen foreign-based players invited for the match include Paul Kpaka, who is playing in Belgium, Holland-based Ibrahim Kargbo, Italy-based Kewullay Conteh and captain Mohamed Kallon, who is without a club at the moment.

see also
2010 World Cup Qualifiers
22 Jun 08 |  African
Sierra Leone FA boss seeks truce
20 Jul 08 |  African

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