NOVEMBER 28, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jr
World football governing body, FIFA has in an exclusive interview with Concord Sports revealed that they are presently not conducting any investigation on match-fixing allegations in Sierra Leone but never ruled out a possible investigation.
Sierra Leone football has recently been rocked with lots of match-fixing allegations and such allegations still continue to make the rounds amongst football officials and the Sports Ministry.
In July this year, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and the Sports Ministry jointly pronounced an indefinite suspension on four national team players and eleven officials on allegations that they fixed a match involving the national team Leone Stars and South Africa during the 2008 joint World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifier; a match that ended goalless.
However, when asked by Concord Sports editor, Sahr Morris Jr., on the latest information regarding any FIFA investigation, one of FIFA’s spokespersons, Olegs Sokols, said they cannot comment on whether or not an investigation is underway.
The FIFA official’s statement reads: “We do not provide any comments as to whether or not an investigation is underway with regard to any alleged manipulation in any match amongst others so as not to compromise any possible investigations.”
He continued: “In accordance with Article 88 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and/or Article 36 para. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, it would only be after a decision has been taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee or FIFA Ethics Committee and first notified to the parties concerned that FIFA would be in a position to communicate the contents of that decision publically.”
Sokols further noted that the integrity of the game is a top priority to FIFA and as such they take any allegations of match manipulation very seriously.
This reaction from the FIFA spokesperson came as a complete contrast to what the SLFA president had told the parliamentary oversight committee on sports that FIFA is presently investigating Sierra Leone on match-fixing.