Critics of the Sierra Leone Football Association, who are calling for an extraordinary congress to be held on Saturday 20th December, 2014 yesterday echoed that the World football’s governing body (FIFA) letter sent to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), president warning rival members of their actions poses no threat.
Executive Members of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), the stakeholders have insisted on going ahead with their congress slated for this Saturday.
Earlier this month they have unanimously resolved to invoke Article 28 of the SLFA’s Statutes.
Reacting to FIFA correspondent to the Sierra Leone FA boss Isha Johanssen, Western Area Football Association (WAFA), General Secretary Kasho J. Holland Cole, has described it as an ‘insult’.
He said they were disappointed with the correspondent from FIFA signed by General Secretary Jerome Valcke in which he referred to them as “so-called football stakeholders”.
But according to their latest press conference held at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) conference hall at Campbell Street in Freetown, they are ready for a showdown.
Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, Secretary General of Premier League club Old Edwardians FC, reiterated that the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) does not belong to FIFA or to an individual but to owners of football clubs.
He said: “We are affiliated to FIFA, and that does not imply they will come and tell us what to do.
“They cannot tell us how to run our association. All we are asking for is respect for our constitution, and we are not going to allow any third party interference in our forthcoming congress.”
The football stakeholders stated in their letter to FIFA that their resolution to call for a congress was done by them – the genuine stakeholders of Premier League and First Division clubs, regional and district associations, referees, retired players and coaches.
“We hope and trust that FIFA will respect the SLFA statutes and protect its membership therein and be neutral in this situation,” reads the closing paragraph in the stakeholders’ letter to FIFA.
The call for congress is the latest scuffle between the SLFA and its members who have endured a long-standing infighting which has had a negative impact on the performance of the national team in almost all competitions.
However, 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.
Meanwhile, 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. They “have no right to interfere in the current impasse engulfing the Sierra Leone Football Association”.
The Chairman Steering Committee Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) noted that all fourteen premier league clubs, Regional and district football Associations are genuine members of the FA and that they can determine the fate of football in the country.