Reinstate Isha Or…! …FIFA Warns Sierra Leon

Isha Johansen

FIFA has warned Sierra Leone to put its house in order as a matter of urgency to avoid incurring its wrath.

The world’s governing body has instructed the country’s FA and government to resolve the current impasse if they want the suspension lifted and be allowed to play their 2019 AFCON Qualifier against Ghana this Thursday in Kumasi.

FIFA suspended Sierra Leon last Friday due to government interference after the FA boss, Isha Johansen and the FA Secretary, Chris Kamara, were asked to step aside for the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate allegations of corruption against the duo.

Sierra Leon’s FA has tried getting the matter resolved by meetings and correspondence as well as writting to the FIFA/CAF Normalisation Committee in Ghana in relation to the match.

But FIFA yesterday wrote to Sierra Leone stating that Johansen and Kamara needed to be re-instated at the FA if the ban would be lifted.

The world’s football governing body added that all written confirmation of the re-instatement of the two people should be done by the close of business yesterday.

“Dear President,

We refer to your Ietter dated 8 October 2018 in relation to the suspension of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).

We take note that “a process aimed at resolving the current impasse has commenced” between representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone and SLFA stakeholders and that “all parties engaged in the process are appealing for Sierra Leone to be allowed to participate in the upcoming AFCON qualifiers between Ghana and Sierra Leone whilst the process is being pursued”.

In this context, we would Iike to remind you that in its decision dated 5 October 2018 to suspend the SLFA with immediate effect, the Bureau of the Council specified that the suspension will only be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised Ieadership (Ied 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. Consequently, as long as this condition has not been met, the suspension will remain in place.

Finally, please note that any proposal to Iift the suspension of the SLFA will have to be submitted to the Bureau of the Council for approval. This is a time-consuming administrative process. Therefore, and without prejudice to the timelines that apply for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for the suspension to be Iifted in time for Sierra Leone’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana on Thursday, 11 October 2018, any written confirmation that the above mentioned condition has been met should be submitted by not Iater than today, 9 October 2018 at 1800 (CET)/ 5pm Ghana time.”

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Black Stars players are in Kumasi preparing for the match should Sierra Leone meet FIFA’s requirements and get the ban lifted.

  By Kofi Owusu Aduonum