Africa Sierra Leonean Football

Sierra Leone FA suspended by FIFA due to government interference

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Sierra Leone’s double header against Ghana may not go ahead as the SLFA have been suspended by FIFA over fears that the Sierra Leone government has interfered in the running of the national football association.

FIFA’s official statement on the matter was as follows:

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference.”

“This decision comes after a recent letter from FIFA to the Minister of Sports of Sierra Leone to express grave concern about the removal of the SLFA President and the SLFA General Secretary and to request that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardised.”

“The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised leadership (led by SLFA President, Ms Isha Johansen, and SLFA General Secretary, Mr Christopher Kamara) have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again.”

“Following its suspension, the SLFA has lost all its membership rights as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The SLFA’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. ”

“This also means that neither the SLFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or CAF. Moreover, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes, other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the SLFA during its suspension.”

Star striker Kei Kamara took to Twitter to share his feelings on the matter via a series of cryptic emojis:

Senior Sierra Leonean officials met on Monday in an attempt to resolve the crisis, and they are confident that at the very least their ban will be lifted. Director of Communications Ibrahim Sorie spoke to goal.com, stating:

“The situation is under control now so we’re optimistic Fifa will lift the ban after sending them what transpired at the meeting today. We decided also to write to Ghana football’s Normalisation Committee through Alex Asante so that they will agree for the Afcon qualifier to be postponed.”

“It will not be easy for them to agree but we believe that they can understand the situation we’ve found ourselves in and accept our proposal. Isha Johansen has also accepted to step aside and has subsequently written to Fifa about her decision.”

“We’re waiting for a response from Fifa and Caf on this matter. After that, we will send a delegation to Zurich so that everything can be sorted out amicably for the growth of the sport in our country.”

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