The Director of Competitions of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, has said that Sierra Leone has registered for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. This comes after an engagement form was sent to all FIFA Member Associations, including Sierra Leone, to register for the 22nd Edition of the FIFA World Cup. Sesay further disclosed that the completed form has been sent to the football world governing body, who in return confirmed Sierra Leone’s registration, pending a decision on the ongoing suspension.
“It is our obligation to register Sierra Leone for any international tournament despite the suspension by FIFA. We are confident that the current suspension is lifted before the draw in two months time” he said
Sesay said FIFA suspended Sierra Leone last October from international football because of what he referred to as ‘government interference’ in the running of the country’s football association.
The suspension, however, was due to the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) setting aside the Football Association President Isha Johansen and Secretary General Christopher Kamara. The ACC reiterated that under the laws of Sierra Leone, Isha Johansen and Christopher Kamara must vacate their posts until their case on corruption-related charges concludes. Both denied any wrongdoing. In October last year, FIFA maintained that Sierra Leone will remain suspended until the alleged corruption trial against Isha Johansen and Chris Kamara concluded.
“The entire suspension hinges on the court matter. If the case is concluded today, we will inform FIFA and they will determine our fate, no matter the outcome of the court’s ruling. The ACC case has dragged on for too long and that has been a problem for us as an association because we have been thrown out of most of the competitions we were already engaged in, including the ongoing 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers” said Sorie Ibrahim Sesay.
Mr. Sesay appealed to the Judiciary to fast-track and quickly conclude the matter so that Sierra Leone will not miss out on the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers as well as the 2021 Nations Cup Qualifying series. He said the World Cup draw takes place in June 2019 but Sierra Leone will not be included in the process if its suspension is not lifted in time.