2022 World Cup qualifier: Angry fans attack Sierra Leone Captain’s home after he missed a decisive penalty against Liberia—
Angry fans of Sierra Leone’s national football team took things too far as they stormed the home of captain Umaru Bangura after he missed a decisive penalty.
Umaru Bangura, 31, who plays for FC Zürich in the Swiss Super League failed to convert a stoppage-time spot-kick during Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Liberia.
His penalty miss denied Sierra Leone their chances of getting through to the next stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Liberia qualified, winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate.
After the game fans stormed his home and pelted Bangura’s property with stones. The windows and doors of his residence in Freetown were left badly damaged.
“[It was] one of the worst days of my life,” Bangura told the BBC on Monday while holed-up in his bedroom. “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,” he added. “I am really disappointed. But at the same time I wish to say sorry [and] beg for their forgiveness.”
Red Cross staff were also attacked after they accused them of whisking away from fans.
According to BBC, four Red Cross volunteers were injured in the unrest. People also threw stones at their marked ambulances, which were later pictured with smashed windows.
“I was really disappointed with the Sierra Leoneans,” the country’s sports minister, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, told the BBC.
“Some disgruntled hoodlums went to [Bangura’s] house and pelted stones at it,” he said. “It is not good for the game. He is our captain [and] football is a game of chance.”
Mr. Nyelenkeh added: “[Hooliganism] is becoming unprecedented. I think measures should be put in place to combat it.”