Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 October 2018:
Football’s world governing body – FIFA, has today announced that it has suspended Sierra Leone’s Football Association from taking part in and benefitting from its activities.
This decision comes after weeks of deadlock between the government of Sierra Leone and FIFA, regarding the government’s sacking of the country’s football chief – Isha Johansen, amid corruption allegation.
This is the statement published today by FIFA:
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference.
“This decision comes after a recent letter from FIFA to the Minister of Sports of Sierra Leone to express grave concern about the removal of the SLFA President and the SLFA General Secretary and to request that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardised.
“The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised leadership (led by SLFA President, Ms Isha Johansen, and SLFA General Secretary, Mr Christopher Kamara) have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again.
“Following its suspension, the SLFA has lost all its membership rights as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The SLFA’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.
“This also means that neither the SLFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or CAF. Moreover, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes, other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the SLFA during its suspension.”
This matter has been in court since October last year when the accused made their first appearance. It is a straight forward corruption matter involving not more than 10 Prosecution witnesses. Why is it still lingering in court? What is wrong with the Judiciary that a simple matter cannot be adjudicated with or less than a year?
For close to two years the country does not have any regular footballing activities. When international competition comes up we send rag tag teams just to reap money for the officials involved. All this chaos in the football is as a result of having an incompetent or unwilling judicial system.
Can the footballing fans in Sierra Leone demonstrate to the Chief Justice so that he can reign in his Judges to complete this matter now. If Aisha is guilty so be it but if she is innocent let her be reinstated and let normalcy return to football.
Many poor countries in Africa today are producing millionaires in football. Yet in Sierra Leone it is from one crisis to another.