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The President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Madam Isha Johansen, has on Thursday 27th July, 2017, spoke on  a range of issues around the association, which she said,  have been particularly worrying not only for the football family in Sierra Leone, but at home and abroad, as football infighting seemed to have found its way into being almost common place acceptance in our society.

She was seemingly quoted as saying, “recent misleading and insightful statements were made on the media about SLFA and her by the Minister of Sports, Hon Ahmed Khanou, pronouncing and questioning her ethics, coupled with his Deputy Hon Al-Sankoh’s vitriolic and defamatory statements about SLFA and the FIFA Secretary General, Madam Fatma Samoura.

This gives cause for grave concern.”She said her decision not to react instinctively to the barrage of insults, and smear to her character and institution provoked by the Minister’s national tour around media houses spreading misinformation was the most appropriate, mature and professional approach for me to have taken”

She also clarified that, on the 19th October 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the FIFA Secretary General, the Sports Minister and her, an agreement marking the first steps towards sustaining peace, sanity as well as sanitizing the football family, and the Minister was delegated the task of overseeing the process, which was to be led by FA. She furthered that, among the seven steps to be taken were that, integrity checks were to be conducted for potential SLFA delegates.

But according to her, the Minister chose to lead the process but for reason best known to himself decided not to allow the integrity test to go ahead for delegates, especially those wanting to secure an executive position in SLFA, which clearly shows that the Minister had breached the agreement that he was a party to, vide his signature on the MOU with FIFA.

“ Sometimes in April this year, in my presence on an open speaker phone conversation, FIFA ‘s Mr. Mosengo, categorically told the Minister of Sports that FIFA would not endorse or recognize persons or bodies that have not gone through integrity checks per our agreement, but the Minister claimed, it was a political decision and geared towards peace.

“It was at this stage, FIFA decided to stop SLFA from proceeding with plans for its ordinary congress as we would more than likely faced with the same conflict that FIFA delegation had taken time and effort to fly out to Sierra Leone to resolve”  said Madam Johansen.

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