OVER FIFA’s BAN
Ministry Of Sports Declare Their Stance
By John Marrah
During a Press Conference at the Ministry Of Sports` Head Office, Stadium Axis in Freetown, the Minister of Sports, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh noted that the government has concluded its resolution on the FIFA and SLFA Ban Stalemate, adding that government through the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis, the Sports Minister, Representatives of SLFA ,and other Football Stakeholders have met in State House to resolve the current impasse about the suspension of SLFA by FIFA.
He said that another thrust of the meeting was for government to initiate mediation processes that involve all critical stakeholders with the view of appeal for the lifting of the FIFA Suspension to facilitate Leone Star`s participation in the AFCON Qualifiers. He said that the Chief Minister unequivocally stated that the meeting was only a mediation process, and that the legal process of the Anti-Corruption Commission will proceed independently without any interference or obstruction.
The Minister of Sport further said that as part of the negotiation by the SLFA Executive and Stakeholders, it was agreed by all parties that a letter of appeal for the lifting of the suspension should be sent to FIFA which should also apprise them of the mediation process initiated by the government of Sierra Leone. He said that following the letter dated 8th October, 2018, from the Sierra Leone Football Association, the government of Sierra Leone is in receipt of a response by FIFA, dated 9th October, 2018. He said that in light of the previous response from FIFA, the government of Sierra Leone wishes to state that the suspension of both Isha Johansen and Christopher Kamara as President and Secretary General of SLFA respectively following their indictment by the Anti-Corruption Commission must be compiled with in line with the Anti-Corruption Commission Act. Minister Nyelenkeh said that government expects that the suspension of SLFA would be lifted by FIFA, and that the current impasse should be resolved with peaceful mediation, adding that they wish to reiterate that the legal process of the Anti- Corruption Commission can neither be interfered with nor obstructed.
He concluded that Football in Sierra Leone would be restored once more with Unity, Freedom and Justice.