The Executive of the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) read with disdain an article published on the front page of the Tuesday 17th December 2013 edition of ‘The New Storm’ newspaper with the headline, ‘SWASAL Splits Over Le 90m’.
The author of the tenuous article, one Ibrahim Sahid Kamara, alleged among other things that: “Executive members have fallen apart over the Le90 million Mercury International donated to the association for its annual sporting award; that the donation has reportedly left SWASAL with only two executive officials running the affairs of the association, the President and Secretary General, Messrs Mohamed Fajah Barrie and Frank Cole, while the executive members have resigned from the association after their sporting award; that the Le90 million donation was not used for its intended purpose and that even the award ceremony ended in deadlock.”
The writer, quoting unnamed sources, further alleged that: “Sources close to Mercury International has (sic) expressed great disappointment with SWASAL for not using the donation for its intended purpose and vowed to only make donations to responsible and credible associations in the country as part of its corporate social responsibility.”
The Executive wishes to inform the general public that the article is not only baseless and unfounded but an illusion of Ibrahim Sahid Kamara’s own imagination seeking to bring the reputation of SWASAL into disrepute.
To set the records straight, at no time;
1. Has ANY Executive member resigned from the current four-man executive after the Organizing Secretary – was during a general meeting held on 3rd December 2013 – asked to withdraw from the executive after accepting to serve in the Media Committee of the Sierra Leone Football Association thereby contravening ARTICLE 11 (2&3) of the revised SWASAL Constitution which states: “Any member of the National Executive who is appointed to serve in any Sporting Association/Club must resign his/her position in SWASAL to avoid conflict of interest. SWASAL members holding executive position in any Sporting Association/Club/Body shall not be eligible to contest for any position.”
2. That the Le 90m donation was utilized for its intended purpose to the satisfaction of the sole sponsor of the event, Mercury International (SL) Ltd.
3. That the 2012/2013 awards, which was witnessed by the Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam-Sumana as Guest of Honour, was successful as a total of 40 awards were given to the deserving winners and never ended in a deadlock as the writer erroneously wrote and;
4. That Mercury International (SL) Ltd. has every confidence and trust in SWASAL as a credible, honest and reliable partner and has reiterated their willingness to continue to sponsor our future activities starting with a training program for our members next year.
In conclusion, SWASAL is not opposed to constructive criticisms geared towards the improvement of the general association but at the same time, would not tolerate unfair criticisms and fabricated lies tantamount to destroying its image and strong ties with its main sponsors, Mercury International (SL) Ltd.
Frank M.E Cole
National Secretary General