Sierra Leone striker Kei Kamara has come out of international retirement to re-join his country’s national team ahead of their upcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Leone Stars will play Nigeria in Benin City on Friday and host the Super Eagles four days later in Freetown. It comes a year after the former Norwich City and Middlesbrough player announced his international retirement on the eve of Sierra Leone’s opening 2021 qualifier against Lesotho in Freetown which ended 1-1.
Kamara. who now plays for MLS club Minnesota United in the United States, is one of 16 foreign-based players invited by Leone Stars coach John Keister.
“A year ago I made the decision to step away from our national team, and it was a decision I made with good intentions.” Kamara said in a statement.
“I can tell you it has not been easy. During this year of being on the outside watching and listening, I can tell you it hasn’t been easy.
“In the past few months I have heard some wonderful conversations with newly appointed head coach John Keister about his vision for the national team, and they’re remarkable.
“I’m very honoured to be considered by Coach Keister as someone that could impact the team. To be included on the roster for the upcoming games is an invitation I have accepted.
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“I’m very excited to wave the green, white and blue flag and will proudly represent my country. I’ll do what I have always done- play my heart out for mama Sierra Leone. I look forward to joining the team in the quest for qualification.”
Keister is delighted that Kamara has accepted to re-join the national team.
“Kamara is an important player, we need him because he’s still doing well,” Coach Keister told BBC Sport Africa.
“He’s still banging in the goals and he’s an experienced player who will help in the transition of new players to the national team. I’m happy to have him back in the national team.”