New Sierra Leone coach springs Kamara surprise

DC United Forward Alhaji Kamara (right)
DC United Forward Alhaji Kamara (right) fights for the ball during an MLS game against Philadelphia Union

New Sierra Leone coach John Keister has sprung a surprise by naming a player once diagnosed with a serious heart condition in his first squad.

United States-based Alhaji Kamara was diagnosed with congenital heart disease in 2015 just weeks after helping Norrkoping to the Swedish league title.

The problem came to light during a compulsory medical check-up as Norrkoping were due to participate in the Uefa Champions League.

Experts from Europe's governing body and Fifa subsequently advised the Sierra Leonean forward against continuing his football career.

But Kamara travelled to the United States last year for further tests and heart specialists there gave him the green light to sign for MLS club, DC United.

"I decided to invite Kamara because he told me he's eligible to play for his country," Keister told BBC Sport.

"But we'll have to check with both Fifa and Caf to check whether he's allowed to play.

"We have invited a good number of of strikers and in the event that he can't play, we have other players to do the job."

The 23-year old, who is now on loan at US second tier league side Richmond Kickers, is among 19 foreign-based players invited by newly appointed Keister for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya in Freetown on 10 June.

Mohamed Buya Turay, who plays for AFC Eskilstuna in Sweden's top flight, is in line for his Leone Stars debut after being called up for the first time.

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