Claim: A document in circulation claims to have published the names and amount of money to be received by the officials and players of the Leone Stars Squad.
The Head of Media and Marketing of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Ibrahim Kamara says a document in circulation claiming to have published a list of officials, players and amount to be received for qualifying Sierra Leone’s national football team Leone Stars to the AFCON 2022 in Cameroon as fake.
A document has been circulating on social media platforms, especially WhatsApp and Facebook alleging that the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Sports have published the final names of beneficiaries of the token President Dr. Julius Maada Bio promised officials and players for qualifying Sierra Leone to the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.
The promise was first made by the President when the team was preparing to play Nigeria home and away but drew in both matches.
However when they were preparing to play Benin in Guinea, the President promised them saying, “if you win and qualify I will give each player that is part of that squad $10,000.” The team did win and qualified and the president in his good will added a plot of land as reward for each player in addition to the money already promised.
Titled “list of National Senior Team Officials and Players”, the document claimed it was the final list from the SLFA to inform the public about the players and officials that are to benefit from the promise made by the President.
According to the reactions from different people to the viral statement, some deserving names have been omitted from the list and also some raised concern about the reduction of the said $10,000 that has been reduced as stated in the list. Some others were concerned with how segregation was done and how they determined who should receive what and why.
Dubawa monitored and checked the website and social media page of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), the body in charge of football in the country and which has the responsibility to prepare the list of players and officials who should be offered the reward promised.
We found that the SLFA has published a document to clarify and debunk the document.
Dubawa also spoke to the Head of Media and Marketing of the SLFA, Ibrahim Kamara, in a phone call.
“The document is a ploy to distract them from their work and as well undermine the good work they are doing,” he told us. “The money has not been reduced as they work on compliance with the president’s pronouncement.” He also added that, ‘‘some officials and players will however receive both land and money and some will receive just the plot of land.’’
From the analysis and investigations relating to the claim in the document, it is clear that the notice is fake.
It is also clear that the money promised has not been reduced and that the final list is not what is seen on the document.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with Afriradio to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.