October 2 – FIFA has once again stepped into the internal power struggle in Sierra Leone by calling on the government to allow national FA president, Isha Johansen (pictured left), back into the organisation’s headquarters.
Last month, both Johansen and SLFA secretary general Chris Kamara were forced to step aside from their roles by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission which handed responsibility to SLFA vice-president Brima Kamara and deputy general secretary Abdul Rahman Swarray.
FIFA officials are reportedly set to meet with both government and SLFA officials to address the latest impasse.
“It’s welcoming to us that FIFA has agreed to meet with a delegation from the Sierra Leone government,” the SLFA head of media and marketing Ibrahim Kamara told the BBC. “There are obviously hopes that the outcome of the meeting will amicably bring the issues to an end.”
Johansen’s mandate as president officially expired in August but she claims she is the victim of trumped-up charges designed to stop her carrying out an inquiry into match-fixing and corruption perpetrated by high-ranking opponents.
Her adversaries vehemently disagree with that and FIFA is overseeing a roadmap which includes integrity checks on all officials wanting to contest executive positions amid concerns that the continued in-fighting will hold up the process.
“FIFA’s primary objective is the full implementation of the roadmap as agreed by the government of Sierra Leone, FIFA, CAF and the SLFA,” said a letter sent by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura (pictured right), a close colleague of Johansen.
“The aforementioned developments, however, seriously derails this important process.”
In the letter, addressed to Sierra Leone Sport Minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, FIFA said it hoped the meeting could take place in early October.
But Nyelenkeh insisted his government had nothing to do with the ACC’s actions. “It was done by an independent body, the ACC, in line with their laws,” he said.