Afcon 2021: Sierra Leone coach reveals squad selection death threats

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Sierra Leone coach John Keister (left) being unveiled by sports minister Ibrahim NyelenkehSierra Leone coach John Keister (left) has a contract with the Leone Stars until 2023

Sierra Leone coach John Keister says he received death threats prior to naming his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins in Cameroon on Sunday.

The 51-year-old received two threats - regarding the inclusion of certain players - a day before announcing his 28-man squad and reported them to police in the west African country.

"I think it's very, very sad that it has to come to this," Keister told BBC Sport Africa.

"Whatever walk of life you are in, nobody deserves that.

"I don't think it should get to that point where my life is being threatened because people feel players should be in [the squad] - and if they are not, this is what they are going to do."

Manchester-born Keister featured for several British clubs, including Walsall and non-league Margate, during his playing career, and was capped 16 times by Sierra Leone between 1997 and 2003.

He is in his second spell as national coach and has led the Leone Stars, ranked 108th in the world, to the Nations Cup for the first time since 1996.

"We have come a long way [so] there's no reason for (the death threats)," Keister continued.

"I've got family, I look after these boys and I have a job to do. It gets me angry and for me where I have come from, my background, I feel there is something I need to do about it.

"Regardless of the job, I need to do something about it."

A squad including one-time England defender Steven Caulker and veteran striker Kei Kamara will face holders Algeria, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea in Group E at the Nations Cup.

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