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Sierra Leone fans destroy player's house after penalty miss

Unhappy fans of Sierra Leone's national football team have attacked the house of the captain of the team after he missed a decisive penalty.

Umaru Bangura

Captain Umaru Bangura was unable to convert a stoppage-time spot-kick in front of a huge crowd on Sunday.

The decisive penalty miss meant that Sierra Leone failed to make it to the next stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Liberia qualified, winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate. After the game fans pelted Bangura's home with stones.

Sierra Leoneans were not happy with the outcome of the qualifiers. The angry football fans damaged the windows and doors of Umaru Bangura’s residence in the capital, Freetown. A song has even been released mocking his penalty miss.

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In an interview with BBC, Bangura said “It was one of the worst days of my life. 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."

Had Bangura scored, Sierra Leone would have levelled the two-legged tie 3-3 and gone through to the next stage on away goals.

Meanwhile, Red Cross staff were also attacked outside the stadium after they were accused of whisking Bangura away from fans. Four Red Cross volunteers were injured in the unrest. People also threw stones at their marked ambulances, which were later pictured with smashed windows.

The country's sports minister, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, “I was really disappointed with the Sierra Leoneans. 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.”

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“[Hooliganism] is becoming unprecedented. I think measures should be put in place to combat it,” Mr Nyelenkeh added.

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