Sierra Leone football star in Turkey aggrieved by Ebola pariah status

Sierra Leone’s footballers are motivated by a sense of betrayal by fellow Africans over the Ebola virus that has led to a near pariah status and forced them to play all their games away from home.
Only players based outside Sierra Leone were allowed into Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Abidjan on Sept. 6. And it was only under a threat of being expelled from the competition that the host authorities permitted the game to go ahead.
The Ivorians attitude to the plight of their fellow Africans has deeply upset the Sierra Leone Stars.
Nearly 2,100 people have now been killed in the devastating Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with about a quarter of the deaths in Sierra Leone.
Many African governments have sought to isolate Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the worst hit countries, including their sports men and women.
"The way we are treated is like we don’t belong to the African planet," said 21-year-old Jabbie Kahalifa, who plays for Turkish championship side Balikesirspor.
"People don’t even want to see us. The way they treat us when we go to airports ... as soon as you say ’I’m from Sierra Leone’, it’s like I’m from an alien planet."
"People start pushing themselves away," he told AFP. "It’s embarrassing to us Africans to be treating another African that type of way. It’s just hard to take sometimes.
"You reach a point like, I’m about to lose it.
"We feel alone, like the whole African continent turned their back against us. This is not how things should be done."
Team-mate Kei Kamara saw things as a young boy he would rather forget during the 1991-2002 civil war that left 50,000 dead in a country...

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