September 18, 2014 / 1:17 PM / 3 years ago

McKinstry sacked as coach of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's national soccer team coach Johnny Mckinstry supervises a training session at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan, September 5, 2014. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone’s Northern Irish coach Johnny McKinstry has lost his job after two African Nations Cup qualifying defeats this month, the country’s sports ministry said on Thursday.

Sierra Leone lost 2-1 to the Ivory Coast after leading at half-time and were then beaten by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Preparations for both qualifiers were severely affected by the deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in the country which has led to a ban on matches in the country and prevented support staff from travelling.

McKinstry, 29, was one of the world football’s youngest national team coaches and took the post in April 2013 alongside his job running the football academy of the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone.

He took charge of eight internationals, winning three and losing three.

”I’m very disappointed because we were moving in the right direction,” he told the BBC.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Alan Baldwin

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