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Sierra Leone pro football league gets first female coach

The East End Tigers named police officer Victoria Conteh, who formerly coached the country's female football team, as its head coach.

Soccer ball. Picture: Freeimages.com

FREETOWN - One of Sierra Leone's top football clubs has picked a woman to coach its main squad, in a first for the West African country's professional league.

The East End Tigers named police officer Victoria Conteh, who formerly coached the country's female football team, as its head coach.

"I'm so proud being a woman... to be appointed head coach of a male football team," Conteh, 45, told AFP on Friday.

"It has never happened in Sierra Leone," she added.

Also known by the nickname "D'Cox," Conteh said she started playing football in her childhood, as a defender, and went on to captain the police football team.

"I'm encouraging more girls to play football in Sierra Leone," Conteh said.

Human rights defenders say women are routinely discriminated against in the former British colony of some 7.5 million people.

This month, for example, the court of justice of West Africa bloc ECOWAS ruled that a policy banning pregnant girls from school breached rights of access to education.

East End Tigers is based in the diamond-mining town of Tongoma, in eastern Sierra Leone.

The club said on social media that it was "delighted" to appoint Conteh as the first female head coach in Sierra Leone's premier league.

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