Reo-Coker turns down Sierra Leone

23 September 2010 11:17
Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has turned down an invitation to play for Sierra Leone.Leone Stars coach Christian Cole was keen to recruit the England-born star, who is of Sierra Leone descent. [LNB]But the 26-year-old has written to the Sierra Leone FA advising them he still has ambitions to play for England. [LNB]"I'm flattered by the invitation to play for Sierra Leone and I want to thank the SLFA as I consider it as a mark of respect," Reo-Coker said. [LNB]"But I can't play for Sierra Leone because at the moment my concentration is to win a regular place in my club Aston Villa. [LNB]"Besides, I believe I still have the prospect to play for England as I'm still young to fight for a place." [LNB]The president of the SLFA Nahim Khadi was naturally disappointed by the 26-year-old player's decision. [LNB]Khadi said: "I'm disappointed with Reo-Coker's decision because I was convinced that he would accept our invitations. [LNB]"I think he knows what's best for him and he believes the decision he has taken is his own best interest." [LNB]Reo-Coker captained England at under-21 level but has yet to play for the senior national team, making him eligible to play for the Leone Stars under Fifa's national regulations. [LNB]He is the second English footballer with Sierra Leonean roots to have rejected an invitation to play for the Leone Stars in recent months. [LNB]Former Crystal Palace and Sheffield United striker Steve Kabba, now with Barnet, also spurned the offer of an international future with the West African nation.

Source: BBC_Sport