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FIFA suspends Sierra Leone

FIFA has suspended Sierra Leone from international football with immediate effect because of government interference.

Sierra Leone FA president Isha Johansen and General Secretary Chris Kamara were – last month – forced to step aside from their roles by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission.

FIFA, in response, demanded that the Sierra Leone government allow Johansen and Kamara back in to Sierra Leone FA premises but football’s world governing body’s warning fell on deaf ears.

In a statement Friday, FIFA said: “The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference.

This decision comes after a recent letter from FIFA to the Minister of Sports of Sierra Leone to express grave concern about the removal of the SLFA President and the SLFA General Secretary and to request that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardised.

The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised leadership (led by SLFA President, Ms Isha Johansen, and SLFA General Secretary, Mr Christopher Kamara) have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again.

Following its suspension, the SLFA has lost all its membership rights as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The SLFA’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

This also means that neither the SLFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or CAF. Moreover, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes, other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the SLFA during its suspension.”


FIFA’s action means the Sierra Leone national team’s October 11 (in Kumasi) and 15 (in Freetown) dates with Ghana in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers cannot hold if the situation remains till next week Wednesday.

An advanced party led by Sierra Leone FA’s director of competitions, Ibrahim Sorie, was expected to arrive in Ghana this weekend to prepare the grounds for the Leone Stars.

Coach John Keister and his team of 22 players were billed to touch down the Kotoka International Airport on October 9 before enplaning to Kumasi, the venue for their Group F qualifier with the Black Stars.



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