Saturday, January 19, 2013 (Day 10)
Strolling through town to watch some more CBF matches, Bob and I run into the most important man in all of Northern Sierra Leone. His official title is 'Paramount Chief'. The Chief is enjoying a brief walk around town, and stops to inquire about how I am finding my time in Makeni. Afterwards, Bob explains that this man often makes decisions that even the President won't over-rule as he is considered to have power and expertise for running the north of the country that does not need to be tampered with by the administration in the south.
We observe some more under 12 and under 14 matches, which all seem to run smoothly. I have been impressed thus far by how well run the league appears to be.
After several hours spent under the powerful West African sun again I am beginning to feel absolutely done in. I need to get home and lie down for an hour or two out of the sun.
The African Nations Cup begins today so I drag myself out of bed and down to the packed local Football Cinema for the opening fixture between South Africa and Cape Verde. The small West African island archipelago shocked almost everybody when they qualified for this tournament at the expense of mighty Cameroon. This tournament was originally scheduled to be hosted by Libya but, for obvious reasons, was switched to South Africa. The hosts look like a poor side and the game ends in a rather tedious 0-0 draw.
With a 7am office start looming tomorrow morning, I scoff down dinner and am in bed for 8 o'clock; around the same time as my four-year-old niece is probably going to bed in England.
More Than a Game joined The Collective and the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone for a two-month voluntary placement in January 2013.