Sierra Leone football stand-off continues despite FIFA’s warning


The Sierra Leone football stand-off continues as Ministry of Sports in their correspondence with the World’s Football governing body stated that their position is unchanged.

Isha Johansen in photo is an erstwhile president of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), according to the ministry, and reiterated that “it has nothing to do with FIFA”.

FIFA’s position was cleared after their warning of a ban” against what they describe as interference in violation of “Article 13 and 17 of the FIFA statute.”

“We must stress that should the authorities not consider our position and persist in recognizing the outcomes of the so-called Congress of 20 December 2014, it will be considered as interference in violation with articles 13 and 17 of the FIFA statutes which request the member association to manage their internal affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

“We will then have no choice but to refer the case to the appropriate FIFA organs for a suspension of the SLFA.”

However, Director of Sports, Saidu B Mansaray stated in his reply to FIFA, “With reference to your letter 15th January 2015 on the above subject I am to inform you that our letter was not intended to interfere in the SLFA matters but to inform you of the issue at hand and to invite FIFA’s delegation or delegate to verify the situation.

“This is not case of the election of a new SLFA executive body. The members of the association are dissatisfied with the control of the present executive because of the decisions, which are just directives of the President of the Association and not the executive who do not constitute a quorum because out of the nine (9) members are no longer part of the Executive body, are not in conformity with the wishes of the SLFA members.

“The resolution in therefore the collective decision of the SLFA members and the interim body is set up to run the affairs of the Association until May, 2015 when is expected that the Ebola problem would have been over, and a Congress can be held.

“This is contrary to the plan of the SLFA Secretariat to hold the Congress on the 29th -30th January 2015, which we are sure, cannot be approved by Government.

“Therefore our duty as the body responsible for the control of Sports in Sierra Leone according to the National Sports Council Act, 1964 is to ensure that the Constitution of SLFA is duly adhered to and appropriates measures taken to ensure the smooth running of football in Sierra Leone.

“We, therefore, maintain our position on the matter which by no means had anything to do with FIFA, or its status, which we are very much aware of. If appropriate FIFA organs decided to suspend SLFA we could have played our part in the matter and would continue to play our role in the development of football in Sierra Leone.

By Alie Bittar


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