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Opposition Watch: Leone Stars Pulls Out of Zambian Friendly Last Minute

By Olamide Oyetunji - The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone have confirmed their withdrawal from the scheduled exhibition game against the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

According to a Press Statement released by Football Association of Zambia,Football House, Lusaka on Saturday 20th MARCH 2021.

Following the withdrawal by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) from Monday’s (22.03.21) scheduled international friendly match against Zambia, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) wishes to inform its members and stakeholders that the game has been cancelled.

The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has notified FAZ that they have pulled out of the match following hitches around travel arrangements and Covid-19 travel restrictions for some of their key players.

In a letter to FAZ, the SLFA General Secretary Chris Kamara regretted the withdrawal from the highly anticipated match that was scheduled for National Heroes Stadium on Monday at 21:00 hours as a dress rehearsal of Thursday’s evening clash with Algeria.

“I am directed by the president to convey her apologies to the Football Association of Zambia’s president (Andrew Kamanga) and FAZ for the unfortunate situation we have experienced with regards the release of our players who are playing abroad due to Covid-19 restrictions and the traveling challenges amidst this difficult moment,” Kamara said.

“On this note, we regret to inform you of the decision of the Sierra Leone Football Association to pull out of the friendly match between Sierra Leone and Zambia national team due to technical reasons beyond our control.”

Sierra Leone are in Group L alongside Nigeria, Benin and Lesotho and were hoping to test their team before facing Lesotho on Thursday in Maseru.

Zambia was hoping to have a dress rehearsal of the 21:00 hours kick-off between Algeria on Thursday.

CAF has directed that all matches be played at the same time in the final stages of Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

It must be noted that Sierra Leone came alive in Group L after their emphatic and dramatic 4-4 draw with the Super Eagles late last year.

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