By Sahr Morris Jnr.
President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Mrs. Isha Johansen, last Thursday told members of parliament that the quarrel between the Sports Ministry and the FA is as a result of failure to understand each other’s duties and responsibilities.
The SLFA boss made this revelation after she was summoned by the Parliamentary Committee on Sports to brief parliament on the running of the country’s football and the relationship between the FA and the Sports Ministry.
She said: “Our relationship (between me and the Sports Minister) is not personal and it is cordial. We will continue to respect the ministry but the problem is on duty, responsibility and mandate.”
She continued: “We at the FA are there to administer, supervise and facilitate football in the country. The government, through the ministry, must fund the national teams. Whatever government allocates we should be aware of that.”
The world’s only female football association president insisted that administering of the national team should not be the responsibility of the Sports Ministry or the minister.
“How can the Sports Minister sit down and appoint a national team’s head coach?” she asked and added: “It is completely a joke as this has never happened anywhere in the world. Also, the minister must not dictate to us on how to run football.”
Minister Paul Kamara has had problems with the SLFA since he was appointed in December 2011. He dissolved the previous SLFA administration before a Normalization Committee was set up but he was ordered by President Ernest Bai Koroma to reverse his decision after FIFA had threatened to ban Sierra Leone from international competitions.
Kamara had been at loggerheads with the previous SLFA administration over the appointment of coaches for the Leone Stars and the running of international matches.