Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 March 2021:
Questions are being asked about the whereabouts of over seven Billion Leones that cannot be accounted for by Sierra Leone’s ministry of finance, who in a press statement said that it gave 8.8 billion Leones to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), a claim the SLFA in their press statement in reply denies.
The ministry of finance says, it has disbursed 8.8 billion Leones for the Leone stars Versus Lesotho match, but SLFA says it only received 1.9 billion Leones, prompting calls for the Anti-Corruption Commission to step in and investigate alleged corruption at the ministry of finance, as corruption grows to unprecedented levels across government ministries in the country.
This is what the SLFA said: “The Sierra Leone Football Association’s attention has been drawn to the press release by the Ministry of Finance dated today 26th March, 2021 headlined “Payments towards Sierra Leone’s participation in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Lesotho and Benin and the Paralympic games in Tunisia”.
“Whilst the FA would like to thank the Ministry of Finance for its financial support and encouragement towards the country’s participation in international football and sports activities, as an institution which prides itself on transparency and accountability particularly where our country’s tax payers’ funds are concerned, we would like to raise the following concerns:
“1. The SLFA would like to inform the public and the Ministry of Finance that at no point in time has the SLFA been made privy of the published amounts Le 8,835,325,769 by neither National Sports Authority (NSA) or Ministry of Sports (MOS) despite several requests by SLFA officials.
“2. The SLFA can publicly confirm that the sums published in the aforementioned release does not reflect the budget request presented to the MOS/NSA by the Sierra Leone Football Association for the matches (Lesotho and Benin).
“3. Contrary to the Ministry of Finance approved amount of Le 8,835,325,769, the FA can confirm that it officially requested from the NSA/MOS the sum of Le 1,923,750,000 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Three Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones) for the Lesotho vs Sierra Leone match in Maseru.
“4. Contrary to the MOF approved amount of Le 2,449,456,888, the FA can confirm that its officially requested from the NSA/MOS the sum of Le 2,450, 060,000 (Two Billion, Four Hundred and Fifty Million, and Sixty Thousand Leones) for the Sierra Leone vs Benin match in Freetown on the 30th March 2021. This amount includes cost for foreign based players (flight costs, accommodation, feeding) and CAF match officials as well. There are no records in our correspondence to the MOS/NSA of requesting the said amount in respect of allowances for players. The allowances of players and technical officials for the said match inclusive of winning bonuses is Le I,078,100,000 (One Billion, and Seventy-Eight Million, One Hundred Thousand Leones) only.
“Furthermore, the FA would like to draw attention to the fact that the Lesotho vs Sierra Leone match is based on a reciprocal agreement – meaning, the SLFA/GOSL will only be liable to cover the costs of the Sierra Leone delegation flights and extras for the remaining 9 officials in Lesotho.
“Finally, the SLFA would like to inform the Ministry of Finance and the public that ALL expenditures at the national stadium ahead of the Benin match is being undertaken by the SLFA, without the financial assistance of the NSA or MOS.
“Our Institution remains committed to Raising Our Game through Good Governance and Integrity.”
This is what the ministry of finance said: