Peterborough United youngster receives first international call-up for Sierra Leone

Idris Kanu has flown out to Freetown to join up with the Sierra Leone squad ahead of their crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier next week (June 14).

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 10th June 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 5:29 pm
Idris Kanu celebrates his goal against Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent.
Idris Kanu celebrates his goal against Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent.

The 21-year-old, who made 25 appearances for Posh in all competitions last season, could be set to play a part in the country’s all or nothing clash against Benin on Monday.

If Sierra Leone win 1-0 or by a margin of two goals, they would leapfrog their opponents into second in the group and claim the final place in the 2021 AFCON tournament, which will take place in Cameroon between January and February 2022. Like the Euros, the tournament has been delayed by the pandemic but retains the name of the year it was due to be played.

The fixture was originally set to take place in Sierra Leone’s capital city on March 30 but was shrouded in controversy when Benin refused to leave the team bus after being told that Steve Mounie, along with five other star players, had tested positive for Covid-19. They accused their hosts of deception and foul play, claiming the tests, taken by the 72 hour previously, all returned negative results.

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Both nations petitioned the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to award them the victory but they ordered that the match be played instead.

Kanu touched down in the West African country, whose side are placed 114th in the FIFA rankings, on Tuesday alongside Blackpool’s Sullay Kaikai and QPR’s Osman Kakay after being added to the squad by manager John Keister.

The match is scheduled for June 14 and will take place at Stade Général Lansana Conté de Nongo in Guinea after a CAF inspection of The Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown found that it was not up to international standards.

Should Kanu make it onto the field though, it would be the wideman’s international debut.