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Sierra Leone
Saturday, July 2, 2022

Sports Minister tells P’ment SLFA fixes matches

By Jariatu Bangura

Minister of Sports, Paul Mohamed Kamara, last Friday told parliamentarians that the executive of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) were involving in matching fixing in all categories of national teams, which would taint the image of the country.

Kamara has been at daggers drawn with the SLFA, led by Isha Johansen, following the 2-0 defeat of the Shooting Stars by their Ghanaian counterparts in Bo a fortnight ago, prompting the minister to sack the entire technical team, although the FA refused to sack the latter.

Kamara claimed the match was fixed, as well as previous matches involving other national teams, although he could not substantiate his allegation.

He repeated the claim to lawmakers that matches played by the national team were fixed, and that if MPs wanted to investigate the issue they should summon erstwhile SLFA Secretary-General, Alimu Bah, who recently lost his appeal against an Anti-Corruption Commission conviction.

“The present situation of match fixing condoned by the SLFA is the main cause of us losing previous games and this has caused a lot of disappointment and disheartenment for supporters of sport and to the country as a whole,” he told lawmakers who had summon him to parliament to substantiate his claims.

Mr. Bah was not immediately available for comments.

The minister said the Shooting Stars team which left for Ghana to play in the return leg of the African U-20 qualifiers in Tamale on Sunday (24 May) went without the permission of the Ministry of Sports, accusing the SLFA executive of selecting the wrong players.

Minister Kamara maintained that the current SLFA executive was in close ties with a powerful global match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal, who is renowned for fraud.

The FA has not reacted to the claims albeit the claims could not be independently verified.

According to opposition lawmaker Hon. Helen Kuyembeh, the minister’s allegations were “quite serious” thus the House should verify the veracity of those allegations, not least for the credibility of the game and image of the country.

The Speaker of Parliament, Majority and Minority Leaders, and other lawmakers concurred with their colleague and agreed to continue their inquest into the controversy.

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