Abdulai Bah: Sierra Leone women’s coach remains in police custody

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Suspended Sierra Leone women coach Abdulai Bah has had his time in police custody extended beyond 72 hours as he continues to answer questions on alleged sexual harassment of women’s national team players.

He was detained at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Freetown on Friday after three players complained to police that Bah had been sexually harassing them.

But Bah, who has denied any wrongdoing, has now spent more than the standard detention period of 72 hours in a cell without being charged.

Sergeant Alhassan Teddy Turay, who is attached to the Family Support Unit at CID and one of the investigators of the matter, has confirmed that Bah’s time in custody will be extended for as long as necessary.

“We do detain people beyond 72 hours if the need arises, and we’re extending Bah’s time in police custody because the need has arisen,” Turay told BBC Sport Africa.

“We’re working within the ambit of the law as he’s still helping police with the investigations. I can’t tell for now when we’ll release him or whether or not we’ll charge him to court.”

Bah is also separately being investigated by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) for the same sexual abuse allegations. He was suspended as head coach of their women’s national team over allegations of “professional misconduct” five days before he was taken into police custody.

The SLFA vice president Alie Badara Tarawallie said the decision to suspend Bah was taken after they received copies of text messages relating to alleged sexual harassment.

But Bah has dismissed the allegations against him as “completely untrue and unfounded,” adding: “As a professional I have always maintained the highest standards required.”

He was appointed as Sierra Queens head coach in August last year after he had managed Sierra Leone’s men at the African Nations Championship (Chan).

(By Mohamed Fajah Barrie, BBC Sport Africa, Sierra Leone, 01.11.2021)

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