Sierra Leone impasse intensifies as Fifa monitors meltdown

The World football body, Fifa has exclusively told footballsierraleone.net that they are “monitoring the situation” concerning the ongoing crisis enveloping Sierra Leone football.

Fifa responding to a request by this website following the indictment of the Sierra Leone Football Association president, Isha Johansen, and the FA’s Sec-Gen Chris Kamara, who were both indicted by Antic Corruption Commission (ACC) on six counts Charges yesterday.

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed that the governing body of the sport has Sierra Leone very close within its sights. “We are currently monitoring the matter. We have no further comment at this stage.”

Fifa did not give any further information; however, the scuffle between the SLFA’s executive and its members has taken a further twist as Johansen’s opponents facing a lifetime banned for violating SLFA and Fifa statutes concerning taking football-related cases to civil courts, according to a press release yesterday.

The sanction came 24 hours after the SLFA’s boss, Isha Johansen, and the FA’s Sec-Gen Chris Kamara were indicted on corruption-related offences.

Both Johansen and Chris Kamara first appearance in court is slated for 30 October 2017.

Johansen’s toughest opponent Sanusi Bruski Kargbo, who had declared his intention to run against Isha Johansen in the next SLFA elections, is amongst 19 officials.

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

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

The SLFA scheduled Congress to pave the way for elections was suspended in July by world football body, who cited unsettled issues relating to the dispute between the current SLFA executive and Johansen’s opponents.

Reacting to the latest SLFA’s sanction, “the Chairman of Old Edwardian Football Club, Lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, maintained the SLFA executive has shown a complete disregard for the Court of Sierra Leone by taking action that will affect or deviate from the court decision.”

“First of all, we’re not sure where this letter is coming from. The said letter purporting to ban 19 officials has no signature from any executive member in authority, no date, no name on it for us to comprehend who authenticate the ban.”

“We’re still unable to verify who sent this release out on the SLFA letterhead. Secondly, the SLFA executive does not have the mandate to ban people for life from football. There is nothing in the constitution giving them such powers.”

“You can’t take a decision to ban anyone at the time of an election. To me, this looks like the final tactics from Isha’s executive for one candidate to go unopposed.”

The outspoken Edwards chairman reiterated that the SLFA constitution doesn’t give anyone the mandate to ban anyone for life. “The Isha Johansen led executive term has expired so taking a crucial decision like this is a joke.”

The scuffle is ongoing and it is uncertain what the next FIFA roadmap will be, but a FIFA/Caf task force is expected in Freetown soon.

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

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