World football’s governing body Fifa has exclusively disclosed to footballsierraleone.net that a letter sent to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), warning rival members of their actions, is indeed genuine and has backed the FA to hold its Congress in January as planned. Photo: FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke
Responding directly to footballsierraleone.net, Fifa maintained strongly that the SLFA’s decision to hold its annual Congress in January is fully recognized and not in December as demanded by other members, who are lobbying to implement certain reforms.
Fifa supported the members’ right to raise their grievances at the Congress in January, which should go ahead except if there are health concerns over the current state of Ebola in the country which prohibits large gatherings.
The Fifa communication to Mrs. Johansen was the subject of huge debate over its authenticity. Members who were backing the move to fight the FA’s January decision had alleged that the letter from Fifa was a forgery.
Members of the SLFA are calling for the formation of a Committee which will oversee other steering committees which will then lead to an extra-ordinary Congress on 20 December, according to Fifa.
In Fifa’s warning, the governing body stressed that these committees will be formed illegally and whatever decisions they may take in their operations will be illegal.
“Under these circumstances, any decision taken by the so-called steering committees would be considered null and void and the convening of an extraordinary congress would be illegal,” writes Jerome Valcke to the SLFA president Isha Johansen.
“We have taken note of the fact that a SLFA Congress – which was duly convened by SLFA – is scheduled to take place on 29 and 30 January 2015 provided the health situation permits,” Mr. Valcke continues.
“The SLFA members will, therefore, have the possibility to raise any concern they may through their participation,” the Fifa General Secretary concluded.
Last week, one of the leading voices against the FA, veteran administrator Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesay (aka Awoko) warned Fifa and Caf not to interfere.
Fifa has now thrown their weight behind the FA and it seems that the stage is set for a Christmas showdown which many will live to remember.
Meanwhile, Football Sierra Leone understands the Stakeholders have responded to FIFA’s letter and from reliable sources they are ready to go ahead with their congress as planned for December 20, 2014.
By Alie Bittar