Leone Stars arrive Holland this weekend

12 November 2009 at 00:50 | 2369 views

By Chernor Ojuku Sesay, Belgium.

Sierra Leone’s national football team, Leone Stars will play The Netherlands premier club, Willem II Tilburg this Saturday, November 14 at the Willem II Stadium in Tilburg, Holland.

This international friendly, the first time in the history of the Sierra Leone national team to play an international friendly against a Premier club in Europe, is made possible through Sierra Leonean born international Ibrahim Kargbo popularly called Obreh who plies his trade in Holland for Willem II.

In a courtesy call to Ambassador Dr. Christian Kargbo to inform him and extend an official invitation to him and the embassy staff, the 25 year old rocky defender disclosed that though the match is played on a free basis with no entrance fee, it is intended to serve as a rallying point for Leone Stars in preparation for the qualifying series of the 2012 African Cup of Nations which kicks off in October next year.

“Since our elimination last year, we are yet to meet together as a team which is not good enough. I am therefore very grateful to officials of my club, Willem 11 for sponsoring this match for my country”, Kargbo stated.

Kargbo, the winner of the 2008 $25,000 FIFPro Merit Award said the money from FIFA last year was sent back home to help the destitute in Sierra Leone through CARE Netherlands. He added that a 40ft Container of assorted tools has just arrived in Freetown through his organization for the use of inmates at the Pademba Road prisons.

During the presentation of the award to Kargbo last year, FIFPro Secretary General Theo van Seggelen remarked that “the award was given to Kargbo for his work as an Ambassador for the CARE Foundation in his native country, Sierra Leone. The FIFPro Board, he went on made this choice because of the way in which Kargbo has given his services to offer a better future to the people in the country of his birth, and for the manner in which he has so clearly shouldered his responsibilities as a professional footballer”.

Because of the difficulty to secure visas for the local players in Sierra Leone to participate in this international friendly, the entire Leone Stars team on Saturday will be made up of Sierra Leonean footballers based in Europe. Already in Holland for the match are Samuel Barley, Sydney Kargbo, Paul Kpaka, Gibril Sankoh, Rodney Strasser, Kewullay Conteh, Sheriff Suma, Gibrilla Woobay, Alfred Sankoh, Lenox Kanu, Kai Kamara, Ibrahim Marseille Kamara, Ishmail Reflex Bangura, Alhassan Bangura, Patrick Bantamoi, Aluspa Brewah, Mustapha Bangura, Ahmed Deen, Albert Jarrett and Ibrahim Obreh Kargbo who has been granted permission by his Willem 11 club to play for his country.

Ambassador Kargbo praised Ibrahim for his initiative and thanked him for his efforts in trying to assist the less fortunate back home. He promised to witness the match alongside some Embassy staff on Saturday.

Photo: Ambassador Kargbo and Ibrahim Obreh Kargbo displaying the Leone Stars supporters T-shirts voluntarily printed by Sierra Leoneans in Holland.