BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MUSTAPHA DUMBUYA has seen political chaos in Sierra Leone de-rail his international aspirations.
However, the 31-year-old determined to use his Falkirk switch to re-ignite his club career.
Former Partick Thistle defender Dumbuya, who boasts 12 caps for the Leone Stars, was left devastated when FIFA sensationally banned the nation from world football due to government interference.
The decision was made after the country’s anti-corruption commission suspended FA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara. They have denied any wrongdoing and FIFA demanded their reinstatement.
It has left a promising pool of players kicking their heels and already looks to have cost them a place at next summer’s African Cup of Nations after they were unable to fulfill qualifiers against Ghana and Kenya.
Dumbuya rued: “International football is still something that’s in my thoughts. But we are going through some political difficulties in Sierra Leone at the moment and we have been banned from playing.
“There were some issues with the government and FA – some rubbish that the players are paying the price for. We have been banned from the next few Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and we can’t do anything. It’s a total suspension on football.
“It’s heartbreaking for the players, because we haven’t done anything – it’s all about the board. We are just sitting here, waiting for other people to sort things.
“I’ve been part of the national team for a while now and I’ve seen what a good squad we have. There is real talent there and I think we would have had a shot of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations next year.”
With his international career in limbo, Dumbuya will pour all of his energy into helping Falkirk recover from their nightmare start to the campaign.
He joined the Bairns in November after being released by Partick Thistle at the end of last season and is determined to make up for lost time after seeing his final campaign at Firhill blighted by injury as the Jags slipped to relegation.
The former Portsmouth, Notts County and Doncaster man is set to make his debut against Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup this afternoon.
“When you combine the injury issues, with the way things went on the pitch, it was an incredibly frustrating season.
“But now I’m 100 per cent fit and ready to play my part. Falkirk called me at a good time and the move felt right.”
Although his three years in Maryhill ultimately ended in disappointment, he admits Scotland has become a home away from home after turning down the opportunity to embark on a European adventure in favour of joining the Bairns.
He added: “I had a few options in Europe, but none of them really jumped out as being attractive. The chance to stay in Scotland was perfect. I’ve lived in Glasgow for a while now, I know the style of football. This has become like a second home for me.”