Tuesday Sep 10, 2019. 12:00
Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura has paid a heavy prize for missing a crucial penalty against Liberia on Sunday that saw his side dumped out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Bangura missed an injury-time spot-kick that would have sent his side through to the group phase on the away goals rule, and Sierra Leone fans, who had already been accused of stoning the Liberia team bus, have taken out their fury on him.
They have reportedly stoned the player’s house and, while he needed to be helped from the venue by members of the Red Cross, who also came under attack from irate supporters.
“[It was] one of the worst days of my life,” Bangura told the BBC. “I can’t even go outside because I didn’t expect this kind of hostility towards me. I did my job by stepping up as the captain to take the spot kick.
“I am really disappointed. But at the same time, I wish to say sorry [and] beg for their forgiveness.”
Sierra Leone’s sports minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh called for calm in the wake of the actions of the fans.
“It is not good for the game. He is our captain [and] football is a game of chance.”
Sierra Leone lost 3-2 on aggregate and must now look forward to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, where they have been pooled with Nigeria, Benin and Lesotho.