SIERRA LEONE NEWS! FIFA Warns Sierra Leone Against Government Political Interference. 

Sierra Leone could be suspended from football as Fifa warn the Sierra Leone Football Association over third party interference.

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By SL Sport News Correspondent |Sierra Leone News, Freetown |

Fifa has warned the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) that involvement from the government in their election could lead to sanctions and also suspension.

The World football governing body FIFA has warned the SLFA that they are ‘obliged’ to conduct their affairs without third party interference.

FIFA sent a letter to the SLFA on Tuesday, 9th February, 2021 – FIFA issued a strong warning to Sierra Leone Football Association against third party interference after the parliamentary oversight committee set aside the SLFA electoral process.

On a firm cautionary note, the letter stated, “In this context we would like to remind you that according to art. 14 par 1 i) and article 19 par 1 of the FIFA statutes, all Member Associations of FIFA including SLFA are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties, including Government Authorities”.

Sierra Leone football legend Mohmaed Kalllon and other aspirants have launched a self-harming campaign against SLFA and attended a meeting in Parliament to set aside the 2021 SLFA election. Their actions could be under threat and counterproductive as they take the blame after Fifa warned the SLFA against political interference.

Kallon and others are seeking to impose their nominations after an Independent Appeal Committee concluded that their nominations failed to meet the stipulated SLFA regulations and rules. The Sierra Leone Minister of Sports Ibrahim Nyelenkeh has been accused of interfering in the Affairs of the SLFA elections after he issued threats on 98.1 Radio against SLFA. The Minister stated that the elections will not be held if Kallon and others are not accepted into the race. This would be a direct contraindication of FIFA’s strict rules – which would rule any involvement from the government as political interference in the football federation.

SLFA received a copy of the warning from FIFA and are expected to decide on their future course of action in consultation with their lawyers and football stakeholders. The letter will likely be submitted to the government for their attention and to do the needful.

If the government does not stay away from the SLFA elections, Sierra Leone could face sanctions from FIFA like Kuwait, Guatemala and Pakistan who were suspended for third party interference.

Fifa can suspend the membership of any national football team if they judge the association has been influenced by external political pressure.

In 2018, FIFA suspended Sierra Leone from world football over claims of government interference. The suspension came after FIFA sent a letter to the country’s Minister of Sports expressing “grave concern” about the removal of the football association president, Isha Johansen and the association’s General Secretary, Christopher Kamara.

This week’s suspension warning couldn’t have come at a worse time for the country as the SLFA President Madam Isha Johansen is declared eligible to stand for the international FIFA Council and is just few weeks ahead of both the FIFA Council election and SLFA election where Madam Johansen is seeking a re-election for her final term; and also the country is now looking forward to implement important SLFA and FIFA projects underway to advance football in the country.

Photo: FIFA President Gianni Infantino, left, with SLFA President Madam Isha Johansen at Total Champions Cup opening in Cameroon .(Salone Messenger 2021)

Fifa has warned the SLFA that continued involvement from the government in the upcoming election for the football federation’s new president and executives could result in the country being suspended from football.

©️Sierra Leone Sport News
Freetown, February, 2021

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