Wold football’s governing body, FIFA, has introduced a new peace plan at the end of a two-day visit to Sierra Leone in a bid to end the much publicised rift presently rocking football in the country.
The local league in Sierra Leone has been on hold for three years under African football’s only woman FA president, Isha Johansen. Her reign has been marred by disputes with rival members as well as a power struggle that has been a permanent fixture since 2014 and one that got worse following the surprise postponement of the FA’s Congress in Makeni in 2015.
After almost a year of the new intervention from FIFA, a mediation team from the association has unveiled numerous recommendations, after concluding its findings on Friday, so as to put an end to the ongoing crisis.
In a communique made known by the task force, that includes the Minister of Sports Ahmed Khanou, the Chairman Taskforce Musa Bility, SLFA’s representative Drucil Taylor and Fifa Director of member Associations Veron Mosengo-Omba, the following decisions were reached:
The SLFA should adopt the FIFA code of ethics, with FIFA supporting this process.
The members of the judicial bodies elected on the 23rd March 2017 should undergo integrity checks conducted by FIFA as defined by FIFA Ethics Committee.
An extraordinary congress to be held with two items to be discussed on the agenda (A) to adopt the new SLFA Code of Ethics (Based on FIFA code of Ethics), (B) to revise the SLFA statutes and include integrity checks requirements for potential candidates.
- Following the Extraordinary Congress, the SLFA shall organise Ordinary Congress in order to select their Electoral Board in preparation for the SLFA elections and to present any relevant statutory reports.
- The Match-Fixing Commission should hand over to FIFA all files and evidence linked to match-fixing in Sierra Leone football. Fifa will then decide how to proceed.
- The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Sports undertakes to enforce its ban on betting on local football matches and to support any sanctions that may be taken by FIFA and SLFA against those who are found guilty of match-fixing.
- The government through the Minister of sports will ensure the smooth and uninterrupted operations of the SLFA.
The Task-force also made further deliberation with the major football stakeholders in Sierra Leone Football and recommends that the FIFA member Association Committee should, establish without delay the timeframe for these activities.
A review of the SLFA statutes and the implementation of the Code of Ethics.
- The date by which the SLFA Extraordinary Congress should be held.
- The date of the new SLFA Ordinary Congress and the date of the Elective Congress.
Instruct the FIFA General Secretariat to be at the disposal of the FIFA’s Task Force so that the proposed solutions (such as the revision of the SLFA statutes and the integrity checks) can be implemented.
Mandate the FIFA Member Association Division and the competent FIFA departments to propose immediately how the SLFA’s match fixing inquiry can be completed.
instruct the FIFA general Secretary to accompany and support the Sierra Leone Football Association and the Sierra Leone towards the achievement of all the above-mentioned proposals.
As earlier indicated by FIFA, Johansen will remain president until a new one is elected though her status as a presidential candidate is in doubt after charges were recently levelled against her by the anti-corruption body. The body also called for her to step down immediately alongside the FA’s secretary-general. She is expected to appear in court on October 30.
Isah Johansen is a CAF executive committee member and holds positions in other committees of both the African body and FIFA.