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As stakeholders head for congress…

SLFA boss ‘in hot waters over constitution breach’

DECEMBER 19, 2014  By Sahr Morris Jr

CRISIS ... Mrs. Johansen’s administration is being accused of dividing the football family
CRISIS … Mrs. Johansen’s administration is being accused of dividing the football family

As football stakeholders in Sierra Leone brace up for their scheduled extra-ordinary congress tomorrow (Saturday December 20) at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) could be in hot waters for allegedly breaching several clauses in the SLFA constitution.

According to a document sourced by this reporter, the SLFA president, Madam Isha Johansen, is alleged to have breached several clauses in the association’s constitution – ranging from contravention of the Statutes of the SLFA, conflict of interest, match-fixing and financial impropriety.

The document, which is understood to have been prepared by the football stakeholders, claims “the membership of the SLFA is encouraged and consumed by the fact that the background and procedures employed during the course of their August 3, 2013 were governed and conducted within the framework of the applicable SLFA and FIFA Statutes, Regulations and Code of Ethics by means of disqualification of one candidate as per the provisions of the SLFA Statutes”.

Also, the document notes the disqualification of more than one candidate as against the spirit of the FIFA Codes of Ethics, saying since the assumption of Mrs. Johansen of the presidency of SLFA, the membership has witnessed with disappointment the utter disregard and contravention of all the documents that govern the management and administration of the game, both locally and globally.

“Though several attempts have been made to draw the attention of the [SLFA] president and the Executive Committee to these anomalies, nothing tangible has so far been achieved; the membership views with consternation as the game of football – both in terms of administration, conduct and organization – continues to spiral downwards. It is in order to halt these unsporting interventions from the President and the Executive Committee that the membership resolved to convey an extra-ordinary congress so as to address the issue,” the document reads.

It further states that in consonance with Article 36:2 of the SLFA constitution, Madam Johansen and her executive have contravened the Statutes of the Sierra Leone Football Association under Article 1:6 of the SLFA Statutes, which states: “The logo of the SLFA is the map of Sierra Leone with the national colours and a football inside the map.” Article 1:8 further maintains: “The flag, emblem, logo and abbreviation are legally registered.”

According to the document, the symbol representing the logo of SLFA that is displayed on the current letterhead of the association is far removed from what the Statutes provides for in Article 29:2, 3 & 4, which makes provisions for the procedures to follow and respect in the event of any amendment to the SLFA Statutes.

Under conflict of interest, the document claims that the SLFA president – who is also the Chief Executive Officer of FC Johansen – abused her position as president by being part of a meeting scheduled to discuss the transfer matter of two players, Ishmael Koroma and Hussein Hassan. It further alleges that the SLFA prexy committed an offence by involving third party influence by seeking legal redress over the players’ transfer.

“As a condition for the release of Ishmael Koroma, the officials of FC Johansen stand accused of breaching Article 18(b) [because] third party influences on clubs of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of players states: ‘No club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract or any third party to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer related matters, its independence, its policies or the performance of its teams’.”

The document says the denial of Ishmael Koroma – a minor – of the right to play was an infringement on Section 3: Protection of Rights as prescribed in the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“Isha Johansen as President of the SLFA and Proprietor/CEO of FC Johansen abused her position as President by being part of a meeting scheduled to discuss the transfer matter of the two players thereby contravening Article 35:3 of the SLFA Statutes, which states: ‘Any member of the Executive Committee must withdraw from the debate and from taking a decision if there is any risk or possibility of a conflict of interest’.”

“Madam Isha Johansen later influenced the outcome of the decision reached by the Executive Committee by authorizing the release of the players as free agents – to be released without payment of a transfer fee. But the management of FC Johansen only released the players after the payment of Le10,000,000 and 2,000,000 each for Ishmael Koroma and Hussein Hassan respectively.”

Under match-fixing, the document alleges that Madam Johansen forwarded documents on match-fixing involving players and officials to the ACC for intervention, which encouraged third party interference into the activities of the FA.

And under the finances of the SLFA, it was said that the Johansen-led executive failed to convene a congress to table its budget to the membership for a mandate to expend the finances of the association as provided for in Article 27:2K of the SLFA Statutes.

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