President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Mrs. Isha Johansen,last Wednesday met with football's world governing body, FIFA president, Joseph Blatter at the Federation's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Madam Johansen, whose election sparked controversy amongst football stakeholders thus leaving a divided football family, is in Zurich to discuss with the FIFA president about the development of the game in Sierra Leone. The 48-year-old, who became the second active female FA president on the planet after Burundi's Lydia Nsekera, said her achievement is honourfor all women despite the uphill challenge in turning around the fortunes of Sierra Leonean football.
According to the FIFA website, the SLFA president showed enthusiasm when discussing her priorities with the FIFA boss.
"Restructuring," she began. "It's been fraught with problems in the past and the problems have been the result of poor administration. So what we're in the process of now is to totally, completely restructure the administration, after which we'll be focusing on youth development. In terms of infrastructure, FIFA has kindly fast-tracked the presentation of a Goal project for the Development Committee that will enable us to rehabilitate the existing technical institution, our academy, which is in a very poor state.
"Every football association, every president, would be looking to showcase their national team on a world platform. But long-term would be to see that youth football grows to a decent level. I came into football through youth football development, with my own team that I had. I would like to leave Sierra Leone football with that legacy of having known that we've promoted and developed youth football to a very decent state," Johansen told FIFA's website.
She was further quoted: "Female football is also something that will be a major focus. I don't think the women of Sierra Leone will ever forgive me if I leave that office and I've done nothing to promote female football. I would like to see a situation long-term where we have a female football academy; where our young ladies being taught to play football combined with education.
"So long-term these are the goals: to see female football grow to a very decent level, to see youth football appreciated and education is going to be a big part of our learning - football and education combined."
Source | CONCORD TIMES