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After Leone Stars disgraceful elimination…

Football stakeholders urge Sports Council to investigate SLFA

NOVEMBER 21, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Football stakeholders and officials have called on National Sports Council officials and the Sports Ministry to investigate the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) following the national team, Leone Stars, disgraceful performance in the just concluded 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Sierra Leone finished at the rock bottom of group D with just a single point from six matches – the country’s worst ever Nations Cup campaign in five years.

The team’s preparations and participation was marred by several controversies between the Football Association (FA), the Sports Ministry and the players, prompting allegations of match fixing.

According to Kasho Holland-Cole, acting secretary general of the Western Area Football Association (WAFA), foul play couldn’t be ruled out in the Sierra Leone Ivory Coast match which saw Leone Stars humiliated 5-1.

“I can say this with authority that the Sierra Leone vs Ivory Coast match was pure match-fixing, the run up to the match and the day for the match itself are all evidence of match manipulation.

“Before the match the FA forced the Sports Ministry to get their hands off and they never traveled with any Sports Council or ministry official, and secondly if you looked the match, at first half we played well and the half ended 1-1, but just after the break things changed and we lost 5-1,” Holland-Cole said.

Also, James Fofonah a.k.a. JJ, who was team coordinator during the preliminary round and the first two group matches, highlighted several reasons why the SLFA should be investigated, and called on both the Sports Ministry and FA to setup an independent body for that purpose.

Fofonah said: “The FA must answer why they insisted on hosting our home matches in our opponent soil when the likes of Nigeria, Uganda and Morocco were earlier on willing for us to use their venue as our home ground.

“How can you collect money from your opponent before the match on a pretext that you will make refund after the match?” Fofonah asked and called for an urgent action from the Sports Council.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leoneans took to several social media, including Facebook to express their disappointment as they lashed at both the FA and the Sports Ministry.

One Pa Lamah Bundu  said this was the worst performance he had witnessed. “If I was the Minister of Sports or the FA President or Coach/member of the technical team, I will publicly apologize to the people of this country and resign my position. The simple reason is the fact that under my watch this country faced the worst humiliation in our football history.”

Again, Isha W. Johnson posted on facebook: “For me I think Madam Isha Johansen era is full of bad luck despite the Minister interference. Under her regime our U-17 team was banned while our female side secured the heaviest defeat 16-0 aggregate to Super Falcon of Nigeria. We secured the lowest point (1) under her regime and this clearly shows the ‘fast month sweh` still de hunt madam Johansen. Remember “No matter how long a journey is, it will always lead you to your destination.”

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