No SLFA election until integrity checks

World football body FIFA has insisted that it will continue to recognise the outgoing Sierra Leone FA executive until integrity checks are done for all potential candidates including the incumbent head Isha Johansen.

This information was exclusively disclosed to Football Sierra Leone today following an enquiry into the protracted impasse.

The FIFA position comes on the same day that the rival faction seeking to oust Johansen from power issued their proposal on the way forward at a news conference in Freetown.

In their proposal, the faction of football administrators wants regional heads of the current FA to steer the body until the election.

They also recommended that this interim set up will work with the FIFA’s task force.

From all indication, it is clear that FIFA is not buying the idea.

Isha Johansen’s four-year term expired on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

Her complicated reign has been tempestuous with a power struggle that has affected the game locally.

Today a FIFA spokesperson responding to FSL reiterated that: “FIFA is still involved in the process and FIFA is still striving to help to find the best possible solution.

Fifa added, “We reaffirm our position for the need for integrity checks before the SLFA can proceed with its General Assembly.

“All current and potential SLFA members of the SLFA Executive Committee, including the President, must undergo integrity checks in line with the FIFA statutes and the FIFA Government Regulations.

“Until these integrity checks are done, we have no alternative but to continue with the current leadership and management of the SLFA in preparation of the General Assembly. Once all these requirements have been clarified, SLFA executive will be nominated.

The issue of the integrity checks is a major factor in the process to the next SLFA’s congress.

Johansen has recently made a serious allegation against the country’s sports minister purporting in a statement that he does not favour the integrity checks.

But the Minister and his deputy fired back with a strong and firm response by accusing Mrs Johansen of killing football and distorting the truth.

Meanwhile, rival members meeting today are calling for an emergency extraordinary congress next week.

“The (current executives) mandate has expired and has no legal authority to represent the FA in any capacity, and under any circumstances within or outside Sierra Leone for any International event.

“The mandate of the four Regional Executives are valid and as such are recognised as Executive members to work alongside the FIFA appointed Moral Guarantor or his representatives to assume the reign of office and to convene an emergency extraordinary congress within a one week from today.”

They added, “The membership would expert FIFA, CAF the Sports Council and all official partners to appreciate and accept our mandate and decision as it is in the interest of the nation.

“We hereby request the Sports Council and Security Forces to facilitate the smooth taking over of the official activities of the FA by the four Regional Chairmen and the FIFA appointed moral guarantor or his representative, and for the officials whose mandate have expired to be warned not to assume anymore official responsibility hence forth,” members noted.

Follow the writer @bittar32 Contact: bittar@footballsierraleone.net

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