December 17, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jr.
The government of Sierra Leone, through the special intervention by President Ernest Bai Koroma, yesterday (Wednesday December 16) reinstated the Isha Johansen-led Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) executive board.
The decision to restore the executive of the beleaguered FA president came during a meeting at State House which was summoned by President Koroma, who doubles as President of the National Sports Council (NSC).
Confirming the decision, Deputy Minister of Sports, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh, said the meeting also resolved that the SLFA executive committee “must reinstate” the seven-man working committee set up by FIFA to identify legitimate football delegates, and that the committee should also include the expelled Sim Turay.
Conteh further informed Concord Sports that the meeting also resolved that the SLFA secretariat would only be opened after both parties – the NSC and SLFA – would have agreed on the two resolutions, which are: reinstating the SLFA executive and reconstituting the seven-man working committee.
“For us as a ministry, it was a great decision agreed by all parties, which is simply a win-win situation for all,” said Conteh. “It was another great fatherly move by the president; I only hope all will work with these resolutions agreed on.”
The restoration of the Johansen executive came on the cusp of the December 16 deadline given by the world football governing body, FIFA for government to reverse its decision or Sierra Leone could face suspension from all international football activities.
This is the second time in eight years a sitting president is intervening to avoid an international ban from FIFA. In 2007, the then President (late) Ahmed Tejan Kabbah instructed his Sports Minister, Dr. Dennis Bright, to reinstate the Nahim Khadi-led SLFA executive which had been suspended by the Ministry of Youth and Sports through the National Sports Council (NSC).
According to then Director of Sports, Saidu Mansaray, the action to suspend the Khadi-led executive was due to the SLFA’s failure to respond to some queries by the NSC, ranging from both local and international funding and activities, the overdue holding of congress and others.