Will HJK’s Medo get another blue and white shirt to wear soon?
Medo, or Mohamed Kamara as he is known to his mother, was a member of the Sierra Leone U-17 team, or Sierra Stars that made the trip to Finland in 2003 to play in the U-17 World Cup. Some members of the team snuck out from their hotel in Lahti with the intention of avoiding the return trip to Sierra Leone, since things were and are not too good down there. Some players of the team have left Finland already, while the likes of Patrick Bantamoi (KuPS, FC Inter) and John Keister (HJK & Klubi 04, JIPPO, trial with KuPS in March 2008) have tried making a living playing football in Finland.
While there may well be personal reasons behind Medo’s decision to apply for citizenship – such as the fact that moving to Europe should be easier when you are a member of an EU country – Finnish football might just end up winning in the process.
Medo has played for several Sierra Leonean youth teams without having dual citizenship, but FIFA might grant him a permission to play for Finland if he wanted to, since he came to the country as a refugee. He would be exactly the kind of player Finland need: a quick, skillful and creative midfielder. With the exception of Jari Litmanen and the Eremenko brothers, the team does not really have such players. I am not saying that Medo will develop into a new Litmanen, but he would probably strengthen the team.
However, in order for Medo to have a chance of playing for Finland, he would need to be a citizen of Finland before his 21st birthday on the 16th of November this year, because FIFA only grants exceptions for players who are under 21 years old. Luckily, HJK chairman Tuomo Saarnio said the club are helping Medo with the paperwork to speed up the process. It remains to be seen whether Medo wants to play for Finland, although he has spoken highly of Finland in interviews.