Caulker unhappy with delay over Sierra Leone match-fixing investigations

By Mohamed Fajah BarrieBBC Sport, Freetown
Former Sierra Leone goalkeeper Christian Caulker
Former Sierra Leone goalkeeper Christian Caulker has been serving an indefinite suspension from international football for almost three years.

Former Sierra Leone first-choice goalkeeper Christian Caulker says he is unhappy he has been suspended from international football for almost three years without any investigation.

Caulker, who plays for USA third tier league side IFK Maryland, was among 15 players and officials suspended indefinitely by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) over allegations of match-fixing in July 2014.

All the players and officials denied any wrong doing and the SLFA promised at that time to investigate the allegations.

"It's three years now since we've been suspended and nobody at the SLFA is saying anything to us," the 28-year old Caulker told BBC Sport.

"This is frustrating for the four of us as it has impacted negatively in our careers.

"We've not been able to join big clubs because of the match fixing tags put on our necks by the SLFA.

"This is not fair. I'm sure those at the SLFA wouldn't be happy if their children, brothers or relatives were treated like us."

The three other players on the list are Sweden-based Ibrahim Koroma, Samuel Barlay - currently without a club - and ex-Leone Stars captain Ibrahim Kargbo, who retired from international football in 2015.

The four players stand accused of attempting to fix a 2010 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Sierra Leone in Pretoria in 2008 which ended goalless.

Ibrahim Kargbo
Ibrahim Kargbo has played his last game for the Leone Stars

Caulker is calling on the SLFA to commence investigations now or lift their suspensions.

"We are not against any investigation because we know we're innocent but let them do it now as it's long overdue.

"If they can't investigate us let them lift our suspensions as I want to play for my country."

"Three years of our career have already been wasted and we don't want it to extend any longer."

The SLFA is yet to comment on the continued delays despite being contacted several times by BBC Sport.

Originally the accusations were due to be investigated by an SLFA-appointed committee headed up by the country's internal affairs minister Paolo Conteh.

However this committee was never fully functional after some of the accused officials and several members of the SLFA failed to recognise its authority.

In March an ethics committee was constituted for the first time during the association's extra-ordinary congress.

The new committee forms part of the judicial body of the SLFA and is yet to meet but is seen as the body that should deal with the match-fixing allegations.

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