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Stakeholders insist on congress

- react to ‘FIFA insult’

DECEMBER 15, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Sierra Leone football stakeholders have insisted that their planned December 20 extra-ordinary congress will go ahead despite threat from FIFA that any decision reached at the said congress will be illegal.

During a press conference held at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) conference hall at Campbell Street in Freetown, the stakeholders accused the world football governing body of insulting them, noting that they have accordingly reacted to the FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke’s December 2 letter to the SLFA president, Mrs. Isha Johansen.

According to Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, Secretary General of Premier League club Old Edwardians FC, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) does not belong to FIFA nor to an individual but to owners of football clubs.

He said: “We are an affiliate to FIFA, and that does not imply they will come and tell us what to do. They cannot tell us how to run our association. All we are asking for is respect for our constitution, and we are not going to allow any third party interference in our forthcoming congress.”

Secretary General of the Western Area Football Association (WAFA), Kosho J. Holland-Cole, said they were displeased with Valcke’s letter in which he referred to them as “so-called football stakeholders”.

“The threats in that FIFA letter did not mean anything to us but for them to describe us as supposed SLFA stakeholders is a slur on our membership. We are going ahead with our congress and as stakeholders, we are more than united for this our call,” Holland-Cole said.

Meanwhile, the football stakeholders stated in their letter to FIFA that their resolution to call for a congress was done by them – the genuine stakeholders of Premier League and First Division clubs, regional and district associations, referees, retired players and coaches.

“We hope and trust that FIFA will respect the SLFA statutes and protect its membership therein and be neutral in this situation,” reads the closing paragraph in the stakeholders’ letter to FIFA.

The call for congress is the latest scuffle between the SLFA and its members who have endured a longstanding infighting which has had a negative impact on the performance of the national team in almost all competitions.

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