FIFA, Sierra Leone agree on roadmap to resolve football crisis

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The government of Sierra Leone and FIFA have met this week on the state of the west African nation’s football governance and agreed on “some concrete measures” in resolving the crisis.

The meeting took place on Wednesday at the FIFA office in Switzerland and the world football governing body’s secretary general Fatma Samoura said it was a “positive meeting.”

“Happy to report on positive meeting @FIFAcom HQ with high level delegation from Sierra Leone government on current situation of Sierra Leone FA. Talks were very cordial & some concrete measures have been agreed upon to move situation forward,” Samoura stated via her Twitter account.

The Sierra Leone FA (SLFA) has been under suspension from international football since October 5 after a crisis bordering on corruption allegations were levelled against the country’s football boss Isha Johansen and the FA’s secretary general Christopher Kamara.

The agreement between FIFA and the Sierra Leone government delegation led by the country’s vice president Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh centred on “zero-tolerance policy for match fixing/manipulation and other fraudulent and corrupt practices in football.”

However FIFA stated that it will not take further measures until investigation by the west African nation’s anti-corruption commission is completed.

“Both the Government of Sierra Leone and FIFA have a zero-tolerance policy for match fixing/manipulation and other fraudulent and corrupt practices in football.

“FIFA recognises that there is an ongoing trial by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone against the SLFA President, Isha Johansen, and the SLFA General Secretary, Christopher Kamara. In that regard, FIFA will wait for the completion of the trial before further measures can be considered, including the lifting of the suspension by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, if deemed appropriate.

“The Government of Sierra Leone committed to appoint its new representative to the Task Force for Sierra Leone, which also includes representatives from FIFA, CAF and the SLFA, and to ensure all the necessary support for the deployment of the Sierra Leone Inquiry Group to conduct the match-fixing investigation from 4 to 9 November 2018.

“Both the Government of Sierra Leone and FIFA expressed their full commitment to the road map as agreed by the Task Force. In this context, the FIFA administration will draw up a concrete calendar to ensure that the necessary measures are taken before conducting the election of a new SLFA executive committee in the shortest possible time frame. These measures include the revision of the SLFA statutes to ensure that eligibility checks are carried out on elected officials and that a proper regulatory framework for the conduct of democratic and independent elections is introduced.

“The Government of Sierra Leone agreed to investigate the unauthorised withdrawal of funds from the SLFA’s dedicated FIFA Forward bank account following the suspension of the SLFA and to ensure that any undue appropriation is immediately corrected,” FIFA stated.

The future of Sierra Leone’s football will now be determined by the new roadmap fashioned out by FIFA and the country’s government leading to election of new executive committee members into the SLFA.

© The Predictor NG

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