Fifa Task-force with members of the Sierra Leone Football Association

Football’s world governing body Fifa has redesigned the roadmap to heal the bitter and protracted rift in the game in Sierra Leone after a two-day visit.

The national premiership league has not been played in the country for three years under the executive of Africa’s only woman FA head Isha Johansen. Her leadership was disputed by rival members and a power struggle ensued since 2014.

The power struggle over the running of football in Sierra Leone worsened after the FA’s Congress in Makeni was postponed unexpectedly in 2015.

After nearly a year of the new Fifa’s intervention, a mediation team from the world body has made several recommendations to help resolve the ongoing impasse after concluding its findings on Friday.

In a communique issued by the task force, which comprised of the Minister of Sports Ahmed Khanou, the Chairman Taskforce Musa Bility, SLFA’s representative Drucil Taylor and Fifa Director of member Associations Veron Mosengo-Omba, the following points were agreed upon:

  1. The SLFA should adopt the FIFA code of ethics, with FIFA supporting this process.
  2. The members of the judicial bodies elected on the 23rd March 2017 should undergo integrity checks conducted by FIFA as defined by FIFA Ethics Committee.
  3. An extraordinary congress to be held with two items to be discussed on the agenda (A) to adopt the new SLFA Code of Ethics (Based on FIFA code of Ethics), (B) to revise the SLFA statutes and include integrity checks requirements for potential candidates.
  4. • Following the Extraordinary Congress, the SLFA shall organise Ordinary Congress in order to select their Electoral Board in preparation for the SLFA elections and to present any relevant statutory reports.
  5. • The Match-Fixing Commission should hand over to FIFA all files and evidence linked to match-fixing in Sierra Leone football. Fifa will then decide how to proceed.
  6. • The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Sports undertakes to enforce its ban on betting on local football matches and to support any sanctions that may be taken by FIFA and SLFA against those who are found guilty of match-fixing.
  7. • The government through the Minister of sports will ensure the smooth and uninterrupted operations of the SLFA.

The Task-force also after further deliberation with concern stakeholders in Sierra Leone Football, recommends that the FIFA member Association Committee should, establish without delay the timeframe for the following activities.

  • A review of the SLFA statutes and the implementation of the Code of Ethics.
    • The date by which the SLFA Extraordinary Congress should be held.
    • The date of the new SLFA Ordinary Congress and the date of the Elective Congress.
  1. Instruct the FIFA General Secretariat to be at the disposal of the FIFA’s Task Force so that the proposed solutions (such as the revision of the SLFA statutes and the integrity checks) can be implemented.
  2. Mandate the FIFA Member Association Division and the competent FIFA departments to propose immediately how the SLFA’s match-fixing inquiry can be completed.
  3. instruct the FIFA general Secretary to accompany and support the Sierra Leone Football Association and Sierra Leone towards the achievement of all the above-mentioned proposals.

As Fifa has earlier indicated, Johansen, who is due in court 30 October to face corruption charges is expected to remain in office until the election of a new president.

However, her status to run as the incumbent is now questionable after the recent charges by the country’s anti-corruption bureau, who also called for her and the FA’s secretary-general to step down immediately.

She is a member of the Caf executive committee and holds positions in other committees of the African body and Fifa.

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