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SLFA president confirms match-fixing evidence from FIFA

November 26, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen has confirmed that the world football governing body, FIFA, has provided her with evidence of match-fixing involving the Sierra Leone national team, Leone Stars.

Since July 2014 when 15 people – eleven officials and four players – were suspended indefinitely from all football related matters by the SLFA and the Sports Ministry over the match-fixing allegations, no investigation has been conducted.

However, the SLFA boss confirmed to the African Independent News without border writer, Thomas Kwenaite that they are about to finalise this match-fixing enquiry and clean up the game

“We now have to finalise this match-fixing enquiry and clean up the game from the influence of betting syndicates,” Kwenaite quoted Madam Johansen, who further went on to drop a bombshell that FIFA had provided her with evidence of fixed matches involving the Sierra Leone national team.

“Although FIFA was mired in its own problems, it had provided her with evidence that countless matches by the Sierra Leone national team, including one against South Africa, were fixed,” the article stated.

“Match-fixing undermines sports integrity, alienates fans, reduces opportunities for legitimate funding and ends promising careers. It attracts criminal activities, money laundering, drug smuggling, extortion and violence.

“If we do not destroy the scourge, it will destroy our growing industry, our young players’ hopes and our country’s reputation. The enquiry will start with an Afcon qualifier against Bafana Bafana in South Africa,” the SLFA is quoted to have said, adding that they will communicate with, and hand the South African Football Association evidence they got from FIFA.

She said: “We will communicate and hand the South African Football Association the evidence we have received from FIFA and urge them to also probe the matter. We have to clean up the game. If we allow unscrupulous people to control the game, we deprive our children of the true value of football.”

The 15 people who were indefinitely suspended include four players: Ibrahim Kargbo, Ibrahim KoromaSamuel Barlay and Christian Caulker, as well as three referees and eight officials, but the ban was lifted by the Sports Ministry in March 2015 on the pretext that there was no evidence, although the SLFA still maintains that those involved are still serving suspension.

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