Sierra Leone challenges FIFA congress decision
July 11, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
The world football governing body’s (FIFA) call to postpone the Sierra Leone Football Association’s (SLFA) annual ordinary congress has been challenged by not only the country’s Minister of Sports, Ahmed Khanou, but also the chairman of the aggrieved Football Association members.
In what was considered to be an additional salt to the wound, FIFA’s late call for the suspension of the annual congress, which could have paved the way for an elective congress in August, has caused more catastrophe in the already prolong tussle.
Such decision from FIFA has left the Sports Minister, Ahmed Khanou, in not only a disappointed mood but rather an assertive mood that the congress, which has been scheduled for July 14, will go ahead as planned.
“I’m not only shocked and devastated at FIFA’s decision but also disappointed, especially so when I was supposed to have been the first point of call as moral guarantor,” Khanou said.
“Sierra Leone is a sovereign state and should not be held to ransom. The Congress must go on as planned. By all indication, it seems as if the SLFA leadership is not ready for peace in the game,” he said.
The Sports Minister further said he has requested the SLFA to send him a copy of the said letter from FIFA, which, he said would be taken to the President of the National Sports Council President Dr. Ernest Koroma for government a position.
Like his boss, head of the National Sports Council, the Director of Sports, Ibrahim Bangura insisted that the ordinary congress must go on as planned, adding that they were giving their blessing for the congress to go ahead through the dictate of the SLFA Constitution.
The chairman of the aggrieved SLFA members, Idrissa Mago Tarawally, insisted that FIFA does not have right to stop their congress, adding that Sierra Leone is a sovereign state and the SLFA is an autonomous body.
He said: “The SLFA has its Constitution which is the regulatory instrument. Holding of the ordinary congress is a constitutional requirement. The membership has received notification for the Congress and we are set looking forward to that date.”
A letter from the FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura called for the postponement of the ordinary congress indefinitely until a task force can be sent to Freetown to sort out issues relating to integrity checks.
The letter stated that FIFA took the decision based on recommendations by its member associations’ committee of which the SLFA President, Isha Johansen is a member.
“The MOU signed by its Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, the Sierra Leone’s Minister of Sport- Ahmed Khanou and Johansen had not been adhered to and as a result the same problems appear to remain unresolved,” FIFA stated in a letter sent to the SLFA. Johansen’s led administration that will come to an end on 3 August.