Thursday, 20 June 2013


Mainly for Armani's defence - plus later in the year some kit is being sent out and we need money for import tax, for those that do not know the story this is copied and pasted from Bluemoon

Over the last few weeks we are aware that people may have heard of the devastating events that have happened to Armani so, in order to bring everyone up to date I will give quick recap.

In 2011 Umbro donated a large amount to sports equipment to Man City Sierra Leone via MCFC. It was shipped out on a container and included hundreds of pairs of size 8 Umbro football boots. Upon receipt Armani kitted out his team, but because all the boots were size 8 some were taken to a local sports dealer and exchanged for sizes that fitted, the usual deal was 2 Umbro for a pair of the player’s choice. Armani had lots of equipment over and he distributed it free of charge to other football clubs, schools, churches, Mosques etc. That distribution was covered widely in the Sierra Leone Media.

When Paul Lake and I went out with Howard Burr, Phil Holme and Alex Channon to deliver the bus prior to the Umbro shipment we met a woman out there who runs her own football club called FC Johansen. This woman is a very influential and a wealthy. Through that contact it was decided that her football club should receive the remaining Umbro stuff that would not fit into Armani's container, and she also received some City kit. Sometime after that was received Armani was informed that FC Johansen had worn an official Man City kit at one of their matches (it actually transpired that they may have only worn the kit to warm up prior to kick off, but Armani was told that it was worn during the match.) In order to avoid confusion Armani expressed concern to me and I in turn passed that on to Paul Lake. Paul wrote a friendly email to the owner of FC Johansen reminding her that any City kit she had received was for her team as leisure wear and to avoid confusion with Man City Sierra Leone it should not be worn at official matches. The reply Paul received was, in my view, aggressive and critical of Armani for bringing it to the attention of City. Also within the reply to Paul was what I perceived at the time to be a veiled threat.

Early last week Armani was running a training session with his players when CID officers turned up and told him that the boots some of his players were wearing had been identified by FC Johansen as items they had stolen some weeks earlier. Armani was arrested and taken to the police station where he was able to contact me in a very distressed state. It was alleged to him that the police had been told by his accusers that there were in fact no football boots for him in the Umbro shipment and that only FC Johansen received the boots. This fact is not a problem as the City Website shows film of the boots being load for shipment out to Armani and we have the official shipping documents.

I was able to speak to the investigating officer on the phone and he did not seem interested in anything I wanted to say and told me that Armani would be held in custody until the investigation was complete. Armani later told me that someone informed him t they had witnessed the officer being "encouraged" by his accuser not to allow Armani bail. Through the great help of a friend of mine Miriam Mason-Sessay who runs the charity Educaid out there, a legal representative was arranged and managed to get him out on bail the following day. The bail was high and was collected by friends and family of Armani. I understand that money is not returned as it was to "buy" bail. He was then told that he had to return to the police station 2 days later which he did. At that point he was charged with Receiving Stolen Property and was ordered to appear in court on 12th June. This he did and by this time he had a good lawyer to represent him. Armani entered his plea of Not Guilty and to the shock and horror of everyone in the court he was remanded to prison to await trial.

That evening I got telephone call from Sierra Leone by people who were in court who told me that the Magistrate was not interested in any arguments for bail and I was also told that his accuser has a close relative who is very senior in the Judicial System out there. One of the calls I took was from the man who runs Sheffield United Sierra Leone and he told me that every football club in Sierra Leone was supporting Armani and they all knew that the charges against him were malicious. Another caller told me that senior people in the Sierra Leone FA were not happy with the situation and were supportive of Armani (I cannot confirm the accuracy of this). Armani remained in the prison until Friday 14th June when he returned this time his bail application was accepted and is now out on bail until a trial date on 4th July.

Everyone who knows Armani well in both this country and his country knows that these allegations are malicious and are born out of jealousy and vindictiveness but the allegations are made by an influential person. He is being accused of stealing Umbro boots when he has given away hundreds of pairs of Umbro boots. This case would not get to court in our country but I know from experience of working out there that people with influence tend to get their way.

If you want to show your support for Armani on here please do so as I know Armani is a Bluemooner. Armani is also on Facebook, if you’re not already his friend then search for Armani Kamara and post a message of support……justice will prevail.

We will keep everyone up to date with all developments.

No comments:

Post a Comment