Bamako, Mali - Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) were abandoned by Stade Malien de Bamako for almost two hours at Bamako’s Modibo Keita international airport.
The Liberian champions arrived at 1:30AM on Wednesday to honor a CAF Champions League preliminary second leg match at the Stade Modibo Keita on February 19 but there was no representative from the Mali Football Association or the hosts to receive BYC delegation.
BYC were forced to hurriedly charter eight taxis to take the delegation to their hotel.
Vice President Nathaniel Sherman said the Malians were informed about their date and time of arrival.
“They assured us that they were going to come and pick us up at the airport but I am surprised they did not show-up. "
"We are not totally surprise because this is African football. May be they want to play mind games on our players but they are built mentality for this kind of situation,” Sherman noted.
For his part, BYC Administrative Manager Albert Sarweah disclosed that the head of delegation of Stade Malien promised to reciprocate the hospitality shown in Monrovia at a technical meeting before the first leg.
The Liberia Football Association (LFA), which was informed about the situation, promised to report to CAF.
The team had its first practice session in the afternoon at a rented stadium, having left Monrovia on Tuesday via the Robert international airport with a 39-man delegation headed by LFA Deputy Technical Director Kaetu Smith on Royal Air Maroc and transited in Casablanca, Morocco for 11 hours.
BYC defeated Stade Malien 1-0 in the first leg on February 12 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia with a Prince Kennedy 87th minute penalty after Mark Paye was brought down by goalkeeper Djigui Diarra.
Both teams couldn’t convert their skills into goal scoring chances and Paye’s head left in his hands when squandered a beautiful connection from captain Van Dave Harmon in a counter attack with Diarra at his mercy but threw his effort off target.
Before the penalty, Aboubakar Diarra saw his thunderous strike, which beat goalie Allenton Sembeh, kissed the woodwork to the disbelief of the fewer Malians in the stand after a breakaway from the defense of BYC.
With only holding midfielders available, coach Cooper Sannah fielded three but BYC were short of confidence and a shadow of their past performances.
They missed creative playmaker Benjamin Gbemy, who is serving a 90-day suspension for disciplinary reason along with two midfielders, who are injured.
BYC, who have targeted the group stage, need at least a draw to meet the winners of the tie between Zimamoto of Zanzibar and Mozambique’s Ferroviario Beira 2-1.
Zimamoto lead 2-1 from the first leg ahead of their meeting at the Estadio do Ferroviario in Beira on February 19.
CAF have chosen Morocco’s Samir Guezzaz as center referee, Hicham Ait Abbou as assistant referee #1 and Youssef Mabrouk as assistant referee #2 as the match officials.
The rest of the delegation include Thomas Kojo, BYC technical director; Albert Sarweah, administrative manager; Copper Sannah, head coach; Nathaniel Sherman, BYC II president; Anthony Awi, trainer; Ben Perry, goalkeeper trainer; Melvin Jerry, medic; Ramsey Sannah, equipment manager; Feleciano Killen and Dele Albert, nutritionists; Christopher C. Walker, media consultant; Augustine Karyea, photographer and James Doe, security.
The players are goalies Allenton Sembeh and Mulbah Urey; Morris Tarr, Prince Jetoh, David Tweh, Sporo Somah, Hilton Varney, Karleo Anderson, Sylvanus Morris, Mark Paye, Gideon Williams, Claudius Morris, Kemoh Kamara, James Kpoto, Ketu Jerbo, Van-Dave Harmon, Randy Dukuly, Abdulai Bility, Junior Barshall, Abraham Koffa Dougbeh, Prince Kennedy, Francis Jallabah and Samir Kamara.